Graham Taylor was a better tactician.
*WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW IS LONG AND ABUSIVE. READERS WHO WISH TO SPARE THEMSELVES TIME, ENERGY AND PAIN ARE ADVISED TO ADVANCE TO THE CONCLUDING TWO PARAGRAPHS.*
Still here? Good. If you've read a fair number of Room Thirteen reviews, you'll have recognised a certain obsession amongst the writers: the promo sheets that accompany the records we get sent to review. This isn't because we aren't very good writers and plagiarise the manuscripts because we don't have anything original to say. It's because they are usually complete drivel.
I used to be foxed by these single sheet advertisements of genius. How? I used to believe them. That's why most of my early reviews are annoyingly positive. However, after a particularly bad spell of reviewing nothing but effluent and having to endure reading these useless fliers and their proclamations that the band was primed to be the biggest thing since virginal-segmented-wheat-free-wholegrain-cinnamon-bagel-mounds (or sliced bread if you've never been to the Marylebone Farmer's Market), I realised that all promo sheets are works of pure fiction and should be ignored. And judging by the amount of typographical errors within, these works of pure fiction are written by dyslexic remedial infants with very poor eyesight and OCD.
Harsh? Don't make me laugh. I did say "usually" though, which insinuates there must be an exception to this rule. Well, kind of. Although the sheet that accompanied The Tacticians's new release contains the usual blurb; where the band is from, when the record is out, who they've been compared to, why they're so great, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (i.e. complete drivel), there's also a paragraph that really is quite stunning - and something that I never thought would ever be printed and sent out to journalists. Here it is:
'The band is boldly forthcoming with their admission that most of the stories are true. Take Kate, whom you'll know from the current single track 'Hardcore Porn'. She's alive and well and living in London. She said not a day goes by when she doesn't think about the time she and Ollie used to share their dreams. But as the song goes, you've got to pay the rent. So Kate got into porn. And Ollie, well, Ollie's still broke. But he is the singer in the band.'
'Boldly forthcoming'? 'Blabbermouths' would be more accurate. Also, think about what The Tacticians's paragraph intimates (or at least what it intimates to me, though I've recently discovered that I'm quite possibly a bit strange in the head):
1. Kate used to go out with Ollie.
2. Kate didn't have any money.
3. Kate got into hardcore porn to earn some money.
4. At some point, Kate and Ollie broke up.
5. Kate wishes she and Ollie were still together.
6. Ollie doesn't and although he may still be broke, at least he's the singer in the band and his rectum is intact.
Harsh? Probably. But then imagine what Kate thinks about all of this. Is she happy about having her life turned into song? I wouldn't be. I'd be tracking down the bastard responsible with a view to decapitating them with a spoon.
Worst of all, it's not even a very good song. Okay, so it may be lyrically forceful, but the music doesn't scaffold the core and ensure that the structure stays standing. In the end, it just sounds like any other indie-pop tune, albeit one that doesn't quite have the lyrical intelligence of a five year old.
Let's break this down into bite sized chunks. Great songs are comprised of great lyrics and great music - performance is something else entirely. 'Hardcore Porn' has got alright lyrics and bland music. Conclusion: It's not a great song.
Instead of being broke and being the singer in the band, maybe Ollie should follow Kate's example and quit for a career in porn.