Friday, July 24th, 2009

Simian Mobile Disco – Audacity of Huge

Featuring the feller out of Yeasayer, which I presume means something to some of you?…


Spencer Ackerman: Championing a grape Kool-Aid filled swimming pool is a great theme for a summer jam to pursue. Even better: this is a great danceable tune for the present economic climate, wherein the gentleman who has everything material still doesn’t obtain the object of his erotic desires. The music itself is nothing New Order didn’t think of, updated for the loft-party set and referencing James Joyce, Damien Hirst and biodiesel-fueled dirigibles.

Iain Mew: The carefully plotted, steadily escalating ridiculousness of lyrical claims in this is just marvellous. Why does anyone want honey dipped tennis wear, again? Coupled to a suitably big beat, I loved it even before realising it was a 2-XL in the video.

Alex Wisgard: The return of Simian Mobile Disco sounds a lot less huge than expected; sure, there’s remix potential here, but the production is just too DIY-dinky to really register. The song itself, however, is actually pretty decent; an increasingly ridiculous litany of tasteless tack, “Audacity of Huge”‘s lyrics are its saving grace (“I’ve got that grape Kool-Aid-filled swimming pool…”), in spite of their somewhat cliched pay-off (“…so why don’t I get you?”).

Michaelangelo Matos: I thought this was pretty lousy anyway, but listening to the lyrics dropped it down to its current grade. “I’ve got a Mama Cass”? A ham sandwich? Is “a Joey Ramone” lymphoma? Did LMFAO not return SMD’s texts?

Anthony Easton: Extreme Vocal Distortion and just a hint of sparkle, plus the phrase “audacity of huge” is so abstractly self-aggrandizing that it just makes the cultural word stew more random. Sort of awesome.

Chuck Eddy: I’ve been falling for these dancefloor wiseacres against my best instincts ever since a promo-only mix they made in 2002 (feat. Aliyah, Huun Huur Tu, Redman, Tom Ze, the Byrds, Peaches, etc.), and I guess I still am. This cut’s vacant namedrops and whimsicalities are about 20 times more precious than my threshold should allow. But almost every one of them is also a good hook.

Jessica Popper: I thought I was quite familiar with the work of Simian Mobile Disco, but actually I couldn’t remember any of their songs when I tried, and when I looked them up on Last.FM I recognised none of the titles. It seems it’s only their name, and not their music, which is familiar. “Audacity of Huge” is luckily a lot more memorable, although I didn’t realise until now it was actually by Simian Mobile Disco. I suppose it’s not really the point of dance acts, especially faceless ones like Simian Mobile Disco, to be memorable, but it might help them sell a few more singles if people knew they were responsible for the track they like that’s always on Radio 1.

Frank Kogan: I guess when I think about it this evokes and confronts the same acquisitive mindset that “Hustler” does, this the moneyed version in contrast to “Hustler”‘s world of desperation. But “Hustler” is dark and hurt and touching, while this is a silly little plinking send-up and it’s dead cold – well, the singer gives it something, like he’s trying to be convincing even if the rest of the music can’t be bothered.

Anthony Miccio: I love when Tiga tweaks a standard pop sentiment with surreal lyrics and insistent techno, so I’m surprised not to enjoy this more than I do. The blame probably lies with the singer, who strains where Tiga would smolder.

Martin Skidmore: Bleepy electro with inadequate vocals, making me wish for a Marc Almond or some such – this is more like a flatter Brian Molko.

Rodney J. Greene: SMD’s electro beats aren’t as big in sound, construction, or intention as the title implies. If there was an instrumental, I probably wouldn’t play it much if ever, but the absence of this douchebag warbling on about shit I couldn’t give a damn about would still markedly improve this track.

11 Responses to “Simian Mobile Disco – Audacity of Huge”

  1. Actually kind of embarrassed that I liked this. Then again, it’s probably no worse than than liking “We Didn’t Start The Fire” or “Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me).” (Okay, maybe a little worse.)

  2. Don’t know the latter, but I’d rather hear “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, tbh. At least that one’s kind of amusing and has a memorable hook.

  3. I had no idea he had anything to do with Yeasayer. Extra credit due for being so much better than his rubbish band.

  4. I think I gave it extra credit for its rhyme scheme subliminally reminding me of Fluke’s “Atom Bomb,” one of very favorite techno singles ever (which would get a 10):

    Baby got a nobel prize
    Given for the perfect crime
    Baby got an alibi
    Baby got eight more lives

    Baby got a satellite
    Baby got second sight
    Baby got a masterplan
    A foolproof master plan

    Baby got purple hair
    Baby got a secret lair
    Baby got an army there
    I ain’t ever seen baby scared

    This record isn’t nearly as good, but somehow gained likability merely by association. (And actually, I just relistened and still like it. Go figure. And its lack of absolute audacity and/or hugeness doesn’t particularly bother me.)

  5. “Atom Bomb” >>>>>>>>>>>> this

    Terrible title, too.

  6. I really need to catch up on the Controversy Index.

  7. No-one wanted to directly address the Obama take-off, then?

    This is a great track – Alex W is right that it’s not quite as immense-sounding as a title like “Audacity of Huge” demands, but tbh when yor title is that good and you live up to it even a little bit, that’s an easy [8] from me.

  8. Embarrassed to say that – despite having read the book – I failed to notice the obama reference until you mentioned it.

  9. Haha, amazing! I can’t imagine reacting to this track without seeing it as at least a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Obama-ism, the plaintive voice of “hope” being extinguished by, well, the sheer hugeness of capatilist acquisitivity.

    It feels opportunistic and it doesn’t quite work – the chorus doesn;t quite fit with the verses – but I have to salute the…. well, the audacity.

  10. Oh I noticed it right away — just figured it was entirely gratuitous, and not worth mentioning. (Plus, the more I think of this as an attempt at political satire, the more inept I’m liable to think it is.)

  11. It’s gratuitious, sure, but I think knowingly so and a way that ties into the track’s overall gratuitousness in the lyrics. It’s clever because it’s stupid, which is what I look for in my pop music.