Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Major Lazer – Hold The Line

Did Gorillaz have action figures? I can’t remember…


Matt Cibula: Remember that horse on “Ren and Stimpy”, who would just stand there for a while lost in thought and then drawl, “No, sir. I don’t like it. Not at all”? Well, I am that horse.

Edward Okulicz: The world doesn’t need an American Gorillaz, thanks.

Anthony Miccio: Catching the video, I couldn’t get past my distaste for the concept, which “could do for dancehall what Gorillaz’s self-titled debut did for hip-hop,” according to Time Out New York. Between that and the twitter minstrelsy, I’m truly shocked how enjoyable I find the track now. Sans visuals, the confident singers and expertly-timed sound effects receive the attention they merit, making me wonder if I should pay more attention to the genre paid tribute – a thought I don’t remember Gorillaz inspiring.

Chuck Eddy: Hey-Mom-look-at-us-we’re-tossing-in-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-aren’t-you-impressed music. Or maybe, I dunno, dancehall gabba. With horses. And kisses. And not as good as the Toto version.

Anthony Easton: The video’s Nelvana style super cheap animation matches the skeletal, slightly minimal beats, which double underlines the almost random noises (horse hooves, horse whinny, horse neighs, cash registers, cell phones), which all introduce a production that manages to be cheap and trashy, while sounding musically complex and narratively full.

Jonathan Bradley: A rotor-blade bassline cuts up Santigold’s syllables and inserts some shameless but effective sound effects. A simple formula but an effective one: A stiff beat and some silly noises go a long way toward making a summer hit truly irresistible, and even if this contains too much froth with no actual payoff, it is a compulsive stopgap. Look for the multitude of inevitable remixes to add some actual personality to the anonymous toasting.

Martin Skidmore: Surprisingly, the electro beats reminded me of surf guitar rock like Dick Dale in places, and the whole thing combines into something thrillingly danceable, and for me, this is one of the freshest sounding and most genuinely exciting singles of the year so far.

Richard Swales: Not since the heady days of Spacehog’s “In the Meantime” has a mobile phone been so well utilised for musical purposes. This is very silly and a bit rubbish but it’s made me do a little dance in the middle of my office, much to the bemusement of my colleagues, and that’s a good thing, right?

Alex Ostroff: Built around what sounds like a dubby sample of Miserlou, Hold the Line is tense and spastic. There’s nothing mindblowing here, lyrically or musically, but this will easily slot into the mix of most summer block parties.

Ian Mathers: Surf guitar and dancehall — two intermittently great tastes that are pretty fucking insufferable when you put them together. I guess it’s nice they’re sampling the same horse the Avalanches used for “Frontier Psychiatrist”. God, I miss the Avalanches.

Michaelangelo Matos: Given how ridiculously uneven Diplo’s output has been (don’t know Switch’s works as well), I wasn’t expecting to care about this album at all, but what do you know — it’s been one of the more durable high-profile things I’ve come across this year. At this point I don’t need to hear Santigold’s nasal whine for a while, but it sounds fine here.

Alfred Soto: A fabulous cacophony: horse neighs, pseudo surf guitar riff, cellphone rings, Yoko meets M.I.A. vocal. I can see a point when this will cross the line into annoying, but as a fan of Sly Fox’s “Let’s Go All The Way,” I look for clones under every sofa cushion.

Additional Scores

Hillary Brown: [5]
Keane Tzong: [7]

3 Responses to “Major Lazer – Hold The Line”


  2. Richard Swales, with Blackout Crew’s “Dialled” released earlier this year, your statement about mobile phone music is blatantly untrue. Repent!

    This I just… don’t get. I’m okay with dancehall… but this just goes nowhere and stays there. [3], I think, at best. I’m really struggling to imagine Skidmore’s universe.

  3. Trust me, you’re much better off staying that way, Thomas.