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Monday, April 20, 2009 

The Atrocity Exhibition

If you need another reason to mourn J.G. Ballard's passing aside from his writing (you shouldn't), then here you go. Not only was the man one of the better "science fiction" (whatever that means) writers out there, his influence on much of the more interesting music the UK produced over the last let's say forty years is incalculable. Although there is (at least) one massive gap in the BBC's overview of Ballardian music - where the holy hell is the Fall? I guess for the proper take on the extent to which Mark E. Smith looked to Ballard, we'll have to continue to look to k-punk.

Good article - might have to link to that myself.

Anyway, just to veer off-topic - I have to agree with you about 'Skeletons', it's brilliant. Not quite as unmitigatedly enthusiastic about It's Blitz! as I thought I might be when I first heard 'Zero' - it's actually very restrained rather than being hands-in-the-air clubby - but it's certainly getting a lot of spins round these parts.

Honestly, the more restrained tracks tend to be my favourites... not sure how I feel about the acoustic bonus tracks yet though.

Bonus tracks (the reason I paid the extra for the digipack) = BAD.

For a vaguely clubby album from a band who are usually so full of joie de vivre, it's actually remarkably low on fun and smiles. In that way 'Skeletons' and a few of the other tracks remind me a bit of LCD Soundsystem's 'Someone Great' and 'All My Friends'.

Wow, up here I could only get the digipack... if there had been a cheaper jewel case version, I definitely would have gone with that.

And I can kind of see your point about the subdued songs on It's Blitz!, but there are two differences, at least for me:

1. I'm not sure I'd say they were really a fun band before, or at least that's never been the appeal for me

2. "Skeletons," "Runaway" and "Hysteric" (among others) are all love songs, unlike the LCD Soundsystem tracks.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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