Queen’s Pleasure – Starlet
There’s something charming about Artful Dodger-like characters, especially when it comes to rock n’ roll. After all, when the illusion works best, the style is all about doing nasty things, behaving in nasty ways, and getting repaid for it.
Now, the 2000s brought, perhaps, the last generation of would-be poets/street hustlers, serving tales about breaking hearts, limbs, the law, and somehow living to tell the tale. Of these, likely, nobody had more charisma than one Peter Doherty, famous for co-founding the Libertines, and later releasing some truly great solo records in recent years.
Queen’s Pleasure draws from that era on Starlet, and looking back at the sounds, poetry, and style of that period, it is easy to understand why it would prove massively influential. The tapering guitar chords certainly help build up the tension, but it’s the overenthusiastic vocal delivery that sells the tune. Some folks still believe in Arcadia.
Johnathon McCombe – Oh Marlboro
Nobody goes into playing rock n’ roll for their health—quite the opposite. If ever there was a job that not only ignored bad behaviour but celebrated it, it was the job of playing in a band or at least being a roadie for one. It has its perks for sure. For more of the people who’ve spent their youth playing music, their nicotine addiction can help them count their days through millions of smoked cigarettes.
Writing about the mundane things in one’s life, especially if they happen to be viewed as sinful, immoral, reprobate, by others is one of the essentials in the indie-rock book on songwriting. The legend of Lou Reed wouldn’t be honoured otherwise.
Johnathon McCombe’ Oh Marlboro fits in there just nicely with comical yet sad lyrics, its jangly guitar chords, and the vocal inflexion of someone that knows that they’re too cool to try and hold any note for longer. Nice lo-fi rock tune.