>Today’s New Band – Responsible Monster

>When the Brit Awards come around every year, the same old stories get hauled out by the media, like guilty schoolboys in front of the headmaster. The time when Jarvis flapped his buttocks at Michael Jackson. The time when one of the professional anarchists from Chumbawumba threw a bucket of water over the deputy Prime Minister. The time when the KLF teamed up with Extreme Noize Terror, shot blanks at the audience with a machine gun, and dumped a dead sheep on the steps of the venue.

All of those earth-shattering middle-fingers to The Man occurred over a decade ago, but still lend The Brit Awards an edge that its bland, uber-corporate reality doesn’t deserve at all. When this year’s annual back-slapping parade took place, pleasingly, it was tedious, dull and uneventful – hopefully to the point that people will stop caring so much in the future.

The only high point was the Pet Shop Boy‘s medley of hits at the end, which even the combined efforts of Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers couldn’t ruin. The first ever albums that I obsessively listened to as an 8-year old were the Pet Shop Boys’ Please and Introspective, which occupied both sides of a TDK C90 tape. The songs formed my musical grounding, and really, looking back, I’m relieved that it was songs like It’s A Sin and Suburbia and not any other late 80’s pop nonsense.

I don’t know exactly what influenced Today’s New Band, Responsible Monster, but from the sheer unusual nature of their insistently worrying sound, I’d hesitantly guess that it was more Ted Bundy than Bros.

Songs like Darwin revel in some sort of delightful confusion, lingering threateningly between slick funk, boisterously broken clank-pop and then vocal stylings of a deranged mass-murderer. It’s a sprawling, relentless and inventive 8-minute journey into someone’s personal hell – albeit a hell with really lovely furnishings, table service and a sprinkling of concerned-looking Page 3 girls.

Doll Bride Mask is either the first ever recording of the voices in a serial killer’s head, or simply the music he’d listen to to get pumped before another killing spree. Dense, nicely incoherent and filled with contorted, afflicted noises and beats, it reveals that Responsible Monster is in full control of his creative faculties, if nothing else.

Responsible Monster: inventive to the point of sonic schizophrenia and bizarre enough to have you glancing over your shoulder. Mood music for murderers. Listen here!

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