On Arcade Fire: “Desperately crap cabaret…”
Menace Beach

Leeds’ Menace Beach are proving to be one of 2014’s most alluring breakout bands, with their releases so far generating not only that all-important interest on the hype machines, but also packing fuzzy tunefulness and winning humour. Ostensibly a duo – Ryan Needham and Liza Violet (pictured) – the band expands for live action, which is the formation behind this week’s singles reviews.

The band – currently supporting their ‘Tennis Court’ single (out now on Menphis Industries, video below) – sat down after their set at Southsea Festival to assess a clutch of new-release cuts. Clash can only apologise: it’s not the best bunch we’ve ever had to give our guest critics.

Around the table: Liza, Ryan, Matt S, Nestor and Ben.

- - -

Example – ‘10 Million People’

Ben: “When he used to rap he was actually quite good. This is a fall from grace. He used to rap over Lily Allen songs, and it was great. I’m an O.G. Example fan. When he played in Millennium Square in Leeds, a girl I know wee’d on her boyfriend rather than going to the toilet so as not to miss any of his Examples. But to be fair I’m not sure she liked her boyfriend that much, anyway…”

Ryan: “‘Ten million can’t be wrong. Ten million shot us down.’ Um, what’s the message there exactly?”

Liza: “I don’t think we’re really in a position to dissect these lyrics.” 

Ryan: “What are they not wrong about, anyway?”

Nestor: “I just think he should leave ‘Peter Pan’s manual’ well alone.”

- - -

Weezer – ‘Back To The Shack’

Ben: “I don’t mind this song! It’s just a bit too self-referential.”

Matt: “Can we put on the good new Weezer song?”

(We put on ‘Cleopatra’ instead.) 

Nestor: “I actually don’t know whether this can be classed as any better.”

Ben: “Can we listen to ‘Just What I Needed’ by The Cars instead, please?”

Nestor: “I’m not sure that’s how this works.”

- - - 

Jessie J – ‘Bang Bang’


Liza: “Oh. This.”  

Nestor: “I’m impressed that they’ve built a whole backing track from a load of left-over snare drum samples in such times of austerity, so considerate.” 

Ben: “Where’s the bass? Is there any?”

Nestor: “Oh, it’s finished. Never mind.” 

Ben: “That new Nicki Minaj song, though.” 

Nestor: “Less Jessie, more Nicki. Thanks.” 

- - -

Jax Jones – ‘Go Deep’

Nestor: “Does it feel slightly too slow? Like it’s running out of batteries?”

Ben: “I don’t think it’s meant for raving though, it’s more for like background music at the worst kind of ‘low-key’ house party or something.”

Nestor: “…So a bit like what we’re doing right now.” 

Ben: “Ah.”

- - -

Arcade Fire – ‘You Already Know’

Ben: “That’s Jonathan Ross at the start and that’s pretty much the most interesting thing about the song.”

Nestor: “It’s like a desperately crap cabaret… Complete with its own canned applause at the end! The musical equivalent of loving the smell of your own farts.”

Liza: “After all that, I can still hear Example in my head. That’s bad, isn't it?”

- - -

Words: Menace Beach

Menace Beach are online here. ‘Tennis Court’ is out now. See the band live as follows:

26th – Pop Recs, Sunderland

11th – Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough
23rd – Bungalows and Bears, Sheffield
24th – All Year’s Leaving 2014, Birmingham
25th – Simple Things Festival, Bristol
31st – Gullivers, Manchester

1st – The Laundry, London

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