LOOKING BACK AT…CHECK YOUR HEAD BY BEASTIE BOYS

By Jake Cordiner (@jjjjaketh)

Check Your Head is the 3rd studio album by the (beyond) legendary New York hip hop/punk 3 piece Beastie Boys. It was released on April 21st, 1992 to, save for a few PHILISTINES (I’m looking at you Entertainment Weekly’s David Bowne *shakes fist menacingly*), critical acclaim. Looking back at this album, it can be seen as a turning point for the trio. It’s quite clear that Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (R.I.P) just went into the studio and fucked about for a while. It definitely shows seeing as this album is genuinely MENTAL: there are so many genres and ideas thrown into the point that at times it can become quite jarring.

Take, for example, the first 5 tracks. You have a reverb-heavy, but still quite recognisably Beastie Boys track, album opener Jimmy James (with some absolutely transcendent scratch work on the beat). Then comes Funky Boss. A minute and a half long funk interlude that includes Mike D screaming like Tarzan in the background and MCA doing a weird moan/cry thing. Thirdly comes Pass The Mic, which is a fucking belter. 4 and a bit minutes of the act at their best. A quick side note, the Beastie Boys lyrics would sound corny as all hell coming from literally anyone else, but something about their delivery makes it seem incredibly cool, even two decades after dropping them.

Gratitude comes next, a big, sexy, almost stoner rock bass riff drives the song with some shouty vocals. The first of many call backs to the Beastie Boys punk past (this is the first full length studio album that the guys played their own instruments on). Lastly in this example of the trio’s scatterbrained-as-fuck list of influences on this album is Lighten Up. It’s like… an African tribal song with stabs of funk guitar and organ? Look when it’s described it sounds like utter shit but trust me it’s a cool little track.

The aforementioned jarring nature of Check Your Head, however, is more of a positive than a negative in my eyes. It shows that the Beastie Boys could tackle a wide range of genres and do it better than almost anyone else. Other highlights on the album include the incredible glam-like stomp of So What’Cha Want, the hardcore punk blast that is Time For Livin’, the all over the place yet somehow coherent The Maestro (I’ll never tire of hearing Mike D call me a motherfucker) and the album’s closing track Namaste, which sounds like what would happen if The Roots were commissioned to write an album of elevator music.

To conclude, as I said before this album is utterly bonkers in the best possible way. This is the sound of a group coming into their own and truly making themselves known as one of the most unique names not just in hip-hop, but in the music landscape in general. Not just debatably the best Beastie Boys album, but one of the best albums of the 90’s full stop. Vital.

9/10

P.S. I miss MCA more than I really should. R.I.P Adam Yauch.


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Why Catfish & The Bottlemen Aren’t Actually That Bad

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

Shrek 🕑 ACT 🕜 Scene 1️⃣ There is 🅰️ 🛏 onstage behind 🅰️ silky curtain, backlit. PRINCE CHARMING (os) Once upon 🅰️ 🕛 in 🅰️ kingdom far, far away, the 👑 and 👸 were blessed with 🅰️ beautiful 🚼 💃. And throughout the land, everyone was 🙋… until the 🔆 went 🔻 and they 🙈saw🙈 that their daughter was cursed with 🅰️ frightful enchantment that took 👫 each and every 🌚. Desperate, they sought the 💁 of 🅰️ fairy godmother who had🈶 them 🔒 the 🌱 👸 away in 🅰️ 🗼, there to await the 😘… of the handsome Prince Charming. [enters gallantly onstage] It was he who would chance the perilous journey through blistering 🌨 and scorching 🐪 traveling🛅 for many days and nights🌝, risking life and limb👌 to reach the Dragon’s keep. For he was the bravest, and most handsome… in all the land. [looks at the audience] And 🇮🇹 was destiny that his 😽 would 💔 the dreaded curse. He alone would climb to the highest🔊 room of the tallest 🗼 to enter the princess’s 👸 chambers, 🎌 the room to her 😴 👥, pull ⬅️ the gossamer curtains to 🔎 her… [pulls ↩️ the curtain to reveal WOLF in the 🛏. Gasps] WOLF What? CHARMING Princess… Fiona? WOLF No! CHARMING [relieved] Thank heavens👼. Where is she? WOLF She’s 🔛 her honeymoon. CHARMING Honeymoon? With whom? 🕝 Scene 2️⃣ THE SWAMP SHREK It’s so🆘 📈 to be 🏠! Just you and me and… DONKEY [offstage] One is the loneliest number9️⃣ that you ever do…[enters] Two can be 🅰️as🅰️ 📉 as 🅰️ 1️⃣… SHREK Donkey? DONKEY Shrek! Fiona! Aren’t you ✌️ 🅰️ 🔦 for sore 🙄! Give 🇺🇲 🅰️ 🤗, Shrek, you 🔘 👭 machine. And 👀 at you, Mrs. Shrek. How ’bout 🅰️ side of sugar for the steed? SHREK Donkey, 😦 are you doing 📌? DONKEY Taking 💅 of your 💑 nest for you. SHREK Oh, you 😏 💏… sorting the 📦 and watering 🚰 the plants 🌴? DONKEY Yeah, and feeding the 🎏! SHREK I don’t 🈶 any 🐬. DONKEY You did. [looks around for the fish] SHREK Look at the 🕜. I guess you’d better❇️ be going. DONKEY Don’t you want to tell me about your trip? Or how about 🅰️ 🎰 of Parcheesi? FIONA Actually, Donkey? Shouldn’t you be getting🉐 🏠 to Dragon? DONKEY Oh, yeah, that. I don’t know. She’s been all moody and stuff lately. I 💭 I’d move in with you. FIONA You know we’re always 😃 to 👀 you, Donkey. SHREK But Fiona and I are married now. We need 🅰️ little 🕘, you know, to be together. Just with each other. Alone. DONKEY Say 👎 ➕. You don’t 🈶 to worry😟 about 🅰️ thing. I will always be 📍 to make sure nobody bothers you. SHREK Donkey! 🕒 DONKEY Yes, roomie? SHREK You’re bothering me. DONKEY Oh, OK. All ▶️, ✨. I guess… Me and Pinocchio was going to catch 🅰️ tournament, anyway, so🆘🆘…Maybe I’ll 🙈 y’all Sunday for 🅰️ 🍡 or something. SHREK He’ll be fine. Now, where were we? [giggles] Oh.I think💭 I remember. Donkey! DONKEY I know, I know! Alone! I’m going! I’m going. What do you want me to tell these other guys👨? ROYAL MESSENGER enters to fanfare. MESSENGER [clears throat] “Dearest Princess Fiona. You are hereby summoned to the Kingdom of Far, Far Away for 🅰️ 💂 🍙 in 🎆 of your 💑 at which 🕒 the King will bestow his 👸 blessing… upon you and your…uh… Prince Charming. Love, the King and Queen of Far, Far Away. aka Mom and Dad.” FIONA Mom and Dad? SHREK Prince Charming? DONKEY Royal ⚾️? Can I come? SHREK We’re not going. FIONA & DONKEY What? SHREK I 😏, don’t you 🤔think🤔 they might be 🅰️ bit…😲 to 👀 you 😍 this? FIONA Well, they might be 🅰️ bit 🙀. But they’re my 👪, Shrek. They 💓 me. And don’t worry😟. They’ll 👬 you, too. SHREK Yeah, ▶️. Somehow I don’t think🤔 I’ll be welcome at the 🇯🇵 ♣️. FIONA Stop 🇮🇹. They’re not 💖 that. SHREK How do you explain Sergeant Pompous and the Fancy Pants Club Band? FIONA Oh, come 🔛! You could at least give them 🅰️ chance. SHREK To do 😦? Sharpen their pitchforks? 🕟 FIONA No! They just want to give you their blessing. SHREK Oh, great. Now I need their blessing? FIONA If you want to be 🅰️ 〽️ of this 👪, 🆗! SHREK Who says I want to be 〽️ of this 👪? FIONA You did! When you married me! SHREK Well, there’s some fine 👣 for you! FIONA [exasperated sigh] So that’s 🇮🇹. You won’t come? SHREK Trust me. It’s 🅰️ 📉 💡. We are not going! And that’s final! ALL 🚪. SCENE 3️⃣ SHREK, DONKEY and FIONA re-enter with GINGY and PINOCHIO. SHREK is carrying luggage GINGY [walking by and ⛏picking⛏ 🆙 the ‘warning, Ogres sign’] Don’t 😟worry😟! We’ll take 💅 of everything. PINOCHIO Hey, 🚏 for me. DONKEY Hit 🇮🇹! Move ’em 🔛! Head ’em 🔺! Head ’em ☝️, move ’em 🔛! Head ’em 🆙! Move ‘em 🔛, Rawhide! Knock ’em out! Pound ’em 💀! Make ’em ☕️! Buy ’em drinks🍻🍻! Meet their mamas! Milk ’em hard! Rawhide! Yeehaw! SHREK, FIONA and DONKEY 🎫 ↩️ and forth 🔛 the stage every 🕓 the E/E (Enter/exit #️⃣ appears) DONKEY Are we there yet? SHREK No. DONKEY Are we there yet? FIONA Not yet. E/E 5️⃣ DONKEY OK, are we there yet? SHREK No. DONKEY Are we there yet? FIONA No! E/E DONKEY Are we there yet? SHREK Yes. DONKEY Really? SHREK No! DONKEY Are we there yet? SHREK & FIONA No! E/E DONKEY Are we there yet? SHREK [mimics] Are we there yet? DONKEY That’s not 😄. That’s really immature. SHREK That’s not 😆. That’s really immature. DONKEY This is why nobody likes😚 👹ogres👹. SHREK This is why nobody likes💖💖 👹ogres👹. DONKEY Your loss! SHREK Your loss! DONKEY I’m gonna just ✋ 🗨. SHREK Finally! DONKEY This is taking forever, Shrek. There’s 👎 in-💺 🎦 or nothing! SHREK The Kingdom of Far, Far Away, Donkey. That’s where we’re going. Far, far…[softly] away! DONKEY All ▶️, all ▶️, I 🉐 🇮🇹. I’m just so🆘 darn 😒. SHREK [groans] Are we there yet? FIONA [chuckles] Yes! DONKEY Oh, finally! ALL 🚪 6️⃣ SCENE 🕟 FAR FAR AWAY (CASTLE ENTRANCE) MESSENGER Announcing the long-awaited ↩️ of the beautiful Princess Fiona and her 🆕 husband. SHREK and FIONA enter 📴-stage ◀️. KING and QUEEN enter 📴-stage ▶️. FIONA Well, this is 🇮🇹. KING This is 🇮🇹. MESSENGER This is 🇮🇹. [exits] SHREK [chuckles] So…you still 💭think💭 this was 🅰️ 🉑 💡? FIONA Of course! Look. Mom and Dad 👀 😊 to 👀 🇻🇮. KING Who 🔛 🌐 are they? QUEEN I 💭think 💭 that’s our little 🙆. KING That’s not little! That’s 🅰️ really big ⚠️. Wasn’t she supposed to 😘 Prince Charming and 💔 the spell? QUEEN Well, he’s ❎ Prince Charming, but they do 👀… SHREK Happy now? We came. We 🙈saw 🙈 them. Now let’s go before they 💡 the 🔦torches🔦. FIONA They’re my 👪. SHREK Hello? They 🔑locked🔑🔑 you in 🅰️ 🗼. FIONA That was for my own… KING Good! Here’s our chance. Let’s go 🔙 💠 and pretend we’re not 👪. QUEEN Harold, we 🈶 to be… SHREK Quick! While they’re not looking👀 we can make 🅰️ run🏃 for 🇮🇹. FIONA Shrek, ⏹ 🇮🇹! Everything’s gonna be… KING A 🌊! There is ❎ ↕️… FIONA You can do this. Both parties🍻 begin 📦 toward eachother 🕖 SHREK I really… KING Really… QUEEN don’t… SHREK want… FIONA to… KING be… SHREK Here! FIONA Mom… Dad…I’d 💗 you to meet my husband… Shrek. SHREK Well, um…It’s easy to 🙈 where Fiona 🉐gets🉐 her 👍 looks👀 from. [chuckles nervously] DONKEY enters shaking 📴 🅰️ GUARD DONKEY [off-stage] What do you 😏, “not 🔛 the list”? Don’t tell me you don’t know who I am. [enters] What’s happening, everybody? Thanks for 🚏waiting🚏. I had🈶 the hardest 🕚 getting 🉐🉐 into this 🏕. KING No! No! Bad donkey! Bad! Go! FIONA No, Dad! It’s all ▶️. It’s all ▶️. He’s with 🇺🇲. He 🆘helped🆘 rescue me from the 🐉. DONKEY That’s me: the noble steed. SHREK Oh, 👦. QUEEN So, Fiona, tell 🇺🇸 about where you live. FIONA Well…Shrek owns his own land. Don’t you, 🍯? SHREK Oh, 👍! It’s in an enchanted forest abundant in 🌰squirrels🌰 and cute little duckies and… DONKEY [laughing] What? I know you ain’t 🗨 about the swamp. KING An 👹 from 🅰️ swamp. Oh! How original. QUEEN I suppose that would be 🅰️ fine 🏟 to raise the 🚼children🚼. SHREK and KING cough involuntarily 8️⃣ SHREK It’s 🅰️ bit 🕟 to be 💭 about that, isn’t 🇮🇹? KING Indeed. QUEEN Harold! SHREK What’s that supposed to 😏? FIONA Dad. It’s great, OK? KING For his type, 🉑. SHREK My type? KING I suppose any grandchildren I could expect from you would be… SHREK Ogres, 🆗! QUEEN Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Right, Harold? KING Oh, ❎! No! Of course, not! That is, assuming you don’t eat your own 🌱! FIONA Dad! SHREK No, we usually prefer the 1️⃣ones1️⃣ who’ve been locked🔑 away in 🅰️ 🗼! FIONA Shrek, 🙏! KING I only did that because I 💟 her. SHREK Aye, day 💅 or 🐲-💂guarded💂 🏯. KING You wouldn’t understand. You’re not her 👪! QUEEN Harold! FIONA Shrek! SHREK Fiona! KING Fiona! FIONA Mom! QUEEN Harold… DONKEY Donkey! FIONA exits🚪 crying😭 9️⃣ SCENE 🕔 STREETS OF FAR FAR AWAY FIONA enters, she hears👂 the voice of FAIRY GODMOTHER FAIRY GODMOTHER (FG) Your fallen 😂 🈶 📲called📲 to me So, 📌 comes my 🍩 remedy I know 😦 every 👸 needs For her to live life happily😃… Both gasp FG Oh, my dear. Oh, 👀 at you. You’re all grown 🆙. FIONA Who are you? FG Oh, 🍯 pea! I’m your fairy godmother. FIONA I 🈶 🅰️ fairy godmother? FG Shush, shush. Now, don’t 😟worry😟. I’m 🈁 to make 🇮🇹 all better👍. With just 🅰️ 👋 of my 🐰 wand, your troubles will 🔜 be gone. For example, how about 🅰️ sporty 🚋 to ride in 💈, with 🅰️ sexy 👴-👦 chauffeur named 📛 Kyle? KYLE enters FIONA Thank you very much, Fairy Godmother, but… SHREK enters SHREK Fiona? Fiona. FIONA Oh, uh…Fairy Godmother… I’d ❤️ you to meet my husband, Shrek. FG Your husband? What? What did you say? When did this happen? FIONA Shrek is the 1️⃣ who rescued me. FG But that can’t be ▶️. SHREK Oh, great, ➕ relatives! FIONA She’s just trying to 💁. SHREK Good! She can 🆘 🇺🇸 pack. Get your coat, dear. We’re ◀️leaving◀️. FIONA What? I don’t want to leave 🍃. When did you decide this? 🕥 SHREK Shortly after 🛬. FIONA Look, I’m 💔… FG No, that’s all ▶️. I need to go, anyway. But remember, dear. If you should ever need me… 😌…is just 🅰️ teardrop away. SHREK Thanks, but we’ve got🉐 all the 😌 we need. Happy, 🌈, 🌈… FG So I 🙈. Let’s go, Kyle. FIONA Very nice, Shrek. SHREK What? I told you coming 🈁 was 🅰️ 〽️ 💡. FIONA You could’ve at least tried to 🉐 along with my 👨. SHREK I don’t think💭 I was going to 🉐 Daddy’s blessing, even🌚 if I did want 🇮🇹. FIONA Do you 💭think💭 🇮🇹 might be nice if somebody asked🙏🙏 me 😦 I wanted? SHREK Sure. Do you want me to pack for you? FIONA You’re unbelievable! You’re behaving ❤️ 🅰️… SHREK Go 🔛! Say 🇮🇹! FIONA Like an 👹! SHREK Here’s 🅰️ 🗞 📸 for you! Whether your 👪 💘 🇮🇹 or not…I am an 👹! And guess 😦, Princess? That’s not about to change🚼. FIONA I’ve made changes🚼 for you, Shrek. Think about that. [exits] DONKEY That’s real smooth, Shrek. “I’m an 👹!” SCENE 6️⃣ KING AND QUEEN’S BEDCHAMBER KING I knew this would happen. QUEEN You should. You started🆕🆕 🇮🇹. 🕦 KING I can hardly believe that, Lillian. He’s the 👹. Not me. QUEEN I think 💭, Harold, you’re taking this 🅰️ little too personally 💻. QUEEN This is Fiona’s choice. KING But she was supposed to choose the prince we picked⛏⛏ for her. I 😏, you expect me to give my blessings to this… thing? QUEEN Fiona does. And she’ll🐌 never forgive you if you don’t. I don’t want to lose our daughter again, Harold. Oh, you 🎭act🎭 as🅰️ if 💜 is totally predictable. Don’t you remember when we were 🌱? We used to 🚶 ⏬ by the lily pond and… KING they were in bloom… QUEEN Our first 😗. KING It’s not the same! I don’t think💭💭 you realize that our daughter 🈶has🈶 married 🅰️ 👺! QUEEN Oh, 🚏 being🐝🐝 such 🅰️ 🎭 👑. KING Fine! Pretend there’s nothing wrong! La, di, da, di, da! Isn’t 🇮🇹 all wonderful! I’d 💖 to know how 🇮🇹 could 🉐 any worse 📉! FG [out 🔛 the balcony] Hello, Harold. KING gasps QUEEN What happened? KING Nothing, dear! Just the 🔘 crusade wound 🃏 🆙 🅰️ bit! I’ll just stretch 🇮🇹 out 📌 for 🅰️ while. FG We need to 💬. KING Actually, Fairy Godmother, 📴 to 🛏.[yawns] Already taken my pills💊💊, and they tend to make me 🅰️ bit drowsy. So, how about… we make this 🅰️ quick visit. What? [Bumps 🔺 against 2️⃣ armed💪 guards] Oh, 👋. Ha-ha-ha! So, what’s😦 🇳🇿? FG You remember my son, Prince Charming? CHARMING enters KING Is that you? My gosh! It’s been years. When did you 🉐 ↩️? 🕛 CHARMING Oh, about 5️⃣ minutes ago, actually. After I endured blistering winds🌬, scorching 🐫…I climbed to the highest 🔊 room in the tallest 🗼… FG Mommy can handle this.He endures blistering winds🎐🎐 and scorching 🏝! He climbs to the highest🔊 bloody room of the tallest bloody 🗼…And 😦 does he 🔎? Some 🚻-❓ 🐺 telling him that his 👸 is already married. KING It wasn’t my fault. He didn’t 🉐 there in 🕔. FG Harold. [GUARD reaches into his pocket] You’ve forced me to do something I really don’t want to do. KING [gasps] What is that? What 🈶 you got🉐 there? GUARD pulls out 🅰️ cellphone and gives 🇮🇹 to FG FG My diet is ruined! Yes, I’d 😗 ✌️ Renaissance Wraps, ❌ mayo… chili 🔗… CHARMING I’ll 🈶 the Medieval Meal. FG One Medieval Meal and, Harold… Curly 🍟? KING No, thank you. FG Sourdough 🍦 🌮, then? KING No, really, I’m fine. FG Nothing else thanks.[hangs up] We made 🅰️ deal, Harold, and I assume you don’t want me to go ⬅️ 🔛 my 〽️. KING [sighs deeply] Indeed not. FG So, Fiona and Charming will be together. KING Yes. FG Believe me, Harold. It’s what’s😦😦 👌best 👌. Not only for your daughter…but for your Kingdom. KING What am I supposed to do about 🇮🇹? FG Use your imagination. 13 ACT 🕝 SCENE 🕐 AT A PUB IN THE WOODS KING enters. A 👙 (UGLY STEPSISTER) is 🚰 🅰️ 🍸 with her ⬅️ to the audience. KING [clears throat] Excuse me. Uh… excuse me. I’m 👀looking 👀 for the Ugly Stepsister. UGLY STEPSISTER turns around to reveal herself KING Ah! There you are. Right. You 🙈, I need to 🈶 someone taken 💅 of. UGLY STEPSISTER Who’s the 👷? KING Well, he’s not 🅰️ 👷, per se. Um… He’s an 👹. UGLY STEPSISTER Hey, buddy, let me 🗝 you in. There’s only 1️⃣ fellow who can handle 🅰️ job 💟 that, and, frankly…he don’t 💒 to be disturbed. KING Where could I 🔍 him? UGLY STEPSISTER 👈 to the 🕶 corner🌽🌽 of the room KING Hello? MYSTERIOUS VOICE Who dares 🙊 to me? KING Sorry! I 🙏 I’m not interrupting, but I’m told you’re the 1️⃣ to 💬 to about an 👹 ⚠️? VOICE You are told correct. But for this, I charge 🅰️ great deal of 📉. KING Would… this be enough? [holds 🔝 🅰️ heavy 🎒 of coins] VOICE You 🈶 engaged my valuable services, Your Majesty. Just tell me where I can 🔎 this 👹. 14 SCENE 🕑 CASTLE SHREK is alone 📘reading📘 FIONA’s diary. FIONA (offstage) Dear Diary… Sleeping Beauty is having🈶 🅰️ slumber 🍻 tomorrow, but Dad says I can’t go. He never lets me out after 🎴. Dad says I’m going away for 🅰️ while. Must be 💑 some finishing 📏. Mom says that when I’m 👴 enough, my Prince Charming will rescue me from my 🗼 and bring me ↩️ to my 👪, and we’ll all live 😊happily😊 ever after. Mrs. Fiona Charming. Mrs. Fiona Charming. Mrs. Fiona Charming. A knock 🔛 🚪 KING Sorry. I 🙏 I’m not interrupting anything. SHREK No, 😣. I was just 📕reading📕 🅰️, uh… 🅰️ 👻 📙. KING I was hoping🙏 you’d let me apologize for my despicable behavior 🕔earlier🕔. SHREK Okay… KING I don’t know 😦 came over me. Do you suppose we could pretend 🇮🇹 never happened and 🆕 over… SHREK Look, Your Majesty, I just… KING Please. Call me Dad. SHREK Dad. We both acted🎭 💌 ogres👹. Maybe we just need some 🕦 to 🉐 to know each other. KING Excellent 💡! I was actually hoping🙏 you might 🈴 me for 🅰️ 🌄 hunt. A little 👨-son 🕧? I know 🇮🇹 would 😏 the 🌍 to Fiona. Shall we say, by the 👵 oak? SHREK Sure. Fade out 15 SCENE 3️⃣ IN THE FOREST SHREK Face 🇮🇹, Donkey! We’re lost. DONKEY We can’t be lost. We followed the King’s instructions exactly. “Head to the darkest🕶 〽️ of the woods…””Past the sinister trees🌲 with 👻-looking👀 branches🎋.” The bush 🔷shaped🔷 💛 Shirley Bassey! SHREK We passed🎫 that 3️⃣ times🕚🕚 already! DONKEY You were the 1️⃣ who said not to ⏹ for 👆directions👆. SHREK Oh, great. My 1️⃣ chance to 🔧 things 🆙 with Fiona’s 👪 and I 🔚 ☝️ lost in the woods with you! DONKEY Don’t 🉐 huffy! I’m only trying to 🆘. SHREK I know! I know. I’m 🙇, all ▶️? DONKEY Hey, don’t 😟worry😟 about 🇮🇹. SHREK I just really need to make things 💼 with this 👱. DONKEY Yeah, sure. Now let’s go bond with Daddy. SHREK hears👂 purring SHREK Well, well, well, Donkey. I know 🇮🇹 was kind of 🅰️ tender moment 🔙 there, but the purring? DONKEY What? I ain’t purring. SHREK Sure. What’s ➡️? A 🤗? DONKEY Hey, Shrek. Donkeys don’t purr. What do you 🤔think🤔 I am, some kind of 🅰️… PUSS IN BOOTS enters PUSS Ha-ha! Fear me, if you dare! SHREK Look! A little 😾. DONKEY Look out, Shrek! He got🉐 🅰️ piece! SHREK It’s 🅰️ 🐱, Donkey. Come 🈁, little kitty, kitty. Come 🔛, little kitty. Come 🈁. 16 PUSS scratches SHREK’s outstretched ☝️ PUSS Now, 🆗ye🆗 👹, 🙏 for mercy from…Puss… in Boots! SHREK I’ll kill🚬 that 🐱! PUSS Ah-ha-ha! [coughs, wheezes, retches, coughs, chuckles] Hairball. DONKEY Oh! That is nasty! SHREK What should we do with him? DONKEY Take the sword⚔ and neuter him. PUSS Oh, ❌! Por favor! Please! I implore you! It was nothing 💻, Señor. I was doing 🇮🇹 only for my 👪. My 👪, she is 😷. And my 👪 lives 📴 the ♻️! The King offered me much in gold and I 🈶 🅰️ 🚯 of brothers… SHREK Whoa, whoa, whoa! Fiona’s 👪 paid you to do this? PUSS The rich King? Sí. SHREK Well, so🆘 much for Dad’s 👸 blessing. DONKEY Don’t feel 〽️. Almost everybody that meets you wants to 🚬kill🚬 you. SHREK Maybe Fiona would’ve been better✨ 📴 if I were some sort of Prince Charming. PUSS That’s 😦 the King said. Oh, uh… 🙇. I 💭 that ❓ was directed at me. DONKEY Shrek, Fiona knows you’d do anything for her. SHREK Well, it’s🇮🇹🇮🇹 not 💚 I wouldn’t change 🚼 if I could. I just… I just 🙏 I could make her 😅. Hold the 📶… “Happiness. Just 🅰️ 😹 ☔️ away.” Donkey! Think of the saddest thing that’s ever happened to you! DONKEY Aw, 👮, where do I begin? First there was the 🕙 that 👵 farmer 🚜 tried to sell me for some 🎱 beans. Then this fool 🈶had🈶 🅰️ 🍻 and he 🈶 the guests trying to 📍 the tail 🔛 me. Then they got🉐🉐 🍺 and 🆕 💓 me with 🅰️ stick, going “Piñata!!” What is 🅰️ piñata, anyway? 17 SHREK No, Donkey! I need you to 😭! DONKEY Don’t go projecting 🔛 me. I know you’re feeling 〽️, but you 🉐got 🉐 to [Puss 🚶 🔛 his foot] Aaaahhh! You little, hairy, 🚯-licking sack of… KYLE enters with 🅰️ cart KYLE Fairy Godmother is away from desk or with 🅰️ client. But I can 🆘 you with your ‘Happiness problems’ [yawns] FAIRY GODMOTHER enters and Kyle stands ☝️ straight very quickly FG Kyle, I’ve been looking👀 everywhere for you! Why aren’t you [notices SHREK] What in Grimm’s 📛 are you doing 📌? SHREK Well, um, 🇮🇹 seems that Fiona’s not exactly 😃. FG Oh-ho-ho! And there’s some ⁉️ as🅰️ to why that is? Well, let’s explore that, shall we? Cinderella.”Lived happily😆 ever after.” No ogres👹! Snow White. A handsome prince. Oh, 😣 👹ogres👹. Sleeping Beauty. No ogres👹! Hansel and Gretel? No! Thumbelina? No. the Little Mermaid, Pretty Woman…No, 👎, ❎! You 👀, 👹ogres 👹 don’t live happily😹😹 ever after. SHREK All ▶️, 👀, 👵! FG Don’t you 👈…those dirty 🍵 sausages at me! KYLE 😃opens😃 the cart to 🉐 🅰️ soda and SHREK notices the potions SHREK Ah… that’s 👌. We’ll go. Very 💔 to 🈶 wasted your 🕛, Miss Godmother. FG I need 🅰️ Monte Cristo Sandwich now. You’ve got 🉐 me all 💼worked 💼 ☝️. [exits] SHREK 👀looks 👀 at KYLE, smiles 😄, then knocks him out. DONKEY Shrek, are you 📴 your 🔩? SHREK Donkey, 🔕 and keep 👀. DONKEY Keep 👀? Yeah, I’ll keep 👀. I’ll 👀 that wicked witch come and whammy 🅰️ 🗺 of 🤕 ☝️ your backside. I’ll 😄, too. I’ll be giggling to myself. SHREK 😃opens😃 the cart and passes 💯 potions to PUSS 🔞 PUSS Toad Stool Softener? Elfa Seltzer? Hex Lax? SHREK Help me 🔎 “handsome.” PUSS Hey! How about “Happily Ever After”? SHREK Well, 😦 does 🇮🇹 do? PUSS It says “Beauty Divine.” SHREK That’ll 🈶 to do. She’s coming 🔙. Go, Donkey! ALL 🚪. FG enters, with CHARMING following after. FG What happened 🈁? Kyle! Clean this 🆙. CHARMING Mother! FG This isn’t 🅰️ ❇️ 🕑, 🎃. Mama’s working 🏢. CHARMING Whoa, 😦 happened 📌? FG The 👹, that’s 😦! CHARMING What? Where is he, Mom? I shall rend his 💆 from his shoulders! I will smite him where he stands! He will rue the very day he stole my kingdom from me! FG Oh, put 🇮🇹 away, Junior! You’re still going to be 👑. We’ll just 🈶 to come 🔝 with something smarter. KYLE Pardon. Um…Everything is accounted for, Fairy Godmother, except for 1️⃣ potion. FG What? [looks in the cart] Oh…I do believe we can make this 💼 to our advantage. SCENE 4️⃣ THE ROYAL CASTLE QUEEN Try to at least pretend you’re interested in your daughter’s 💍 ⛹. KING Honestly, Lillian, I don’t 💭think 💭 🇮🇹 matters. How do we know there will even🌑 be 🅰️ 🎳? FIONA Mom. Dad. KING Oh, 👋, dear. What’s that, Cedric? Right! Coming. FIONA Mom, 🈶 you seen Shrek? 19 QUEEN I haven’t. You should 🙏 your 👨. Be sure and use small 🆚, dear. He’s 🅰️ little 🐌 this 🌄. CEDRIC Can I 🆘 you, Your Majesty? KING Ah, 🆗! Um…Mmm! Exquisite. What do you 📲 this 📡? CEDRIC That would be the 🐾dog’s🐾 🍞, Your Majesty. KING Ah, 👍. Very 🌟, then. Carry 🔛, Cedric. FIONA Dad? Dad, 🈶 you seen Shrek? KING No, I haven’t, dear. I’m sure he just went 📴 to 👀 for 🅰️ nice… mud 🕳 to ✨ ⤵️ in. You know, after your little spat last 🌑. FIONA Oh. You 🇭🇲 that, 😨? KING The whole kingdom 🇭🇲 you. I 😏, after all, 🇮🇹 is in his 🍀 to be…well, 🅰️ bit of 🅰️ brute. FIONA Him? You know, you didn’t exactly 🙄roll 🙄 out the Welcome Wagon. KING Well, 😦 did you expect? Look at 😦 he’s 🔨 to you. FIONA Shrek loves💗💗 me for who I am. I would 🤔think🤔 you’d be 😅 for me. KING Darling, I’m just 💭 about what’s😦 best ✨ for you. Maybe you should do the same. SCENE 5️⃣ FOREST SHREK [reading the potion] “Happily Ever After Potion. Maximum strength. For you and your true 💚. If 1️⃣ of you drinks 🍷 this, you both will be fine. Happiness, comfort and 💅 divine.” You both will be fine? I guess 🇮🇹 means😏😏 it’ll affect Fiona, too. DONKEY Hey, 👮, this don’t feel ▶️. My donkey senses are tingling all over. Drop that 🏺 o’🅾️ voodoo and let’s 🉐 out of 🈁. SHREK It says, “Beauty Divine.” How 📉 can 🇮🇹 be? [sniffs the potion and sneezes] DONKEY See, you’re allergic to that stuff. You’ll 🈶 🅰️ reaction. And if you think💭 that I’ll be smearing Vapor Rub over your chest, think🤔 again! SHREK Well, here’s🈁 to 🇺🇸, Fiona. DONKEY Shrek? You 🍶 that, there’s 👎 going ⬅️. 20 SHREK I know. DONKEY No ➕ wallowing in the mud? SHREK I know. DONKEY No ➕ itchy butt crack? SHREK I know! DONKEY But you 💒 being😑😑 an 👹! SHREK I know! But I 💋 Fiona ➕. DONKEY Shrek, 😣! Wait! SHREK drinks🔞 the potion. There’s 🅰️ long ⏯ then…he farts💨💨 DONKEY I think💭 you grabbed the “Farty Ever After” potion. PUSS Maybe it’s🇮🇹 🅰️ dud. SHREK Or maybe Fiona and I were never meant😏 to be. [Thunder cracks and he passes💯💯 out] DONKEY Shrek! Black out. Fade in CASTLE INTERIOR. FIONA enters with her luggage. KING There you are! We missed you at dinner. What is 🇮🇹, darling? FIONA Dad…I’ve been 🤔 about 😦 you said. And I’m going to 📐 things ▶️. KING Ah! Excellent! That’s my 👸. FIONA It was 🅰️ mistake to bring Shrek 📍. I’m going to go out and 🔍 him. And then we’ll go ↩️ to the swamp where we belong. QUEEN Fiona, 🙏! Let’s not be rash, darling. You can’t go anywhere ▶️ now. Thunder cracks again and FIONA collapses KING Fiona! 21 ACT 3️⃣ SCENE 1️⃣ IN THE BARN – MORNING SISTER Good 🌅, sleepyhead. I ❤️ your kitty! SHREK Oh… My 🗣… SISTER Here, I fetched 🅰️ pail of 🚱. SHREK Thanks. Uhh! [sees his reflection in the pale] Aahh! A cute 🔘 🐘? Thick, 〰️ locks🔑? Taut, 🔃 buttocks? I’m… I’m… SISTER Gorgeous! [moves in closer] I’m Jill. What’s your 📛? SHREK Um… Shrek. SISTER Shrek? Wow. Are you from Europe? SHREK 👀looks👀 around 😕 SISTER You’re tense. I want to rub your shoulders. SHREK Have you seen my donkey? DONKEY enters and begins 🔬studying🔬 SHREK, followed by PUSS DONKEY Wow! That’s some quality potion, Shrek! What’s in that stuff? PUSS “Warning: Side effects may include burning, itching, oozing, weeping 😂. Not intended for 💞 patients or those with… 😥 disorders.” SHREK What? PUSS Señor? “To make the effects of this potion permanent, the drinker🍸 must 🉐 his true 💙love’s💙 😙 by 🕛.” SHREK Midnight? DONKEY Why is 🇮🇹 always 🕛? SISTER Pick me! I’ll be your true 👫! SHREK Look, 👵, I already 🈶 🅰️ true 👭. SISTER Oh… 22 PUSS Take 🇮🇹 from me, Boss. You are going to 🈶 1️⃣ 😆 Princess. DONKEY And let’s 😞 🇮🇹. Even though you are 🅰️ lot easier 🔛 the 🙄, 💠 you’re the same 👴 😏, salty… SHREK (simultaneously) Easy. DONKEY …cantankerous, foul, 👊 👹 you always been. SHREK And you’re still the same annoying😠 donkey. DONKEY [Bashful] Yeah. SHREK Well…Look out, Princess. Here comes the 🆕 me. DONKEY First things first. We need to 🉐 you out of those 👗. SISTER gasps SCENE 🕑 THE CASTLE GATES GUARD Halt! SHREK Tell Princess Fiona her husband, Sir Shrek, is 📌 to 🙈 her. FIONA ⏰wakes⏰ ☝️ 🅰️as🅰️🅰️ 🅰️ 👫 and 👀looks👀 at herself in the mirror. She 😱screams 😱 SHREK Fiona! FIONA Shrek? SHREK runs💨 into FIONA’s room as🅰️ FIONA runs 🏃 🔻 to the 🏰 gates. FG enters the room just before SHREK, she is cloaked. SHREK Fiona? FG Hello, handsome. FIONA Shrek! DONKEY Princess! FIONA Donkey? 23 DONKEY Wow! That potion 🏢worked🏢🏢 🔛 you, too? FIONA What potion? DONKEY Shrek took some ♥️ potion. And well…Now, he’s sexy! FIONA [looking at PUSS] Shrek? PUSS For you, 🚼… I could be. DONKEY Yeah, you 🙏. FIONA Donkey, where is Shrek? DONKEY He went 💠 looking👀 for you. DONKEY and PUSS 🚪. FIONA Shrek? SHREK Fiona! Fiona! FG [blocks his 🚪 with her wand] Are you going so🆘 🔜? Don’t you want to 🙈 your wife? CHARMING enters CHARMING Fiona? FIONA Shrek? CHARMING Aye, Fiona. It is me. What happened to your voice? SHREK The potion changed🚼 🅰️ lot of things, Fiona. But not the ↕️ I feel about you. KING and QUEEN enter QUEEN Fiona? KING Charming? CHARMING [showing 📴 outfit] Do you think 💭💭 so🆘? [laughs] Dad. I was so🆘 🙏hoping🙏 you’d approve. QUEEN Um… Who are you? KING Mom, it’s🇮🇹 me, Shrek. I know you never 🉐 🅰️ second chance at 🅰️ first impression, but, well, 😦 do you think💭💭? [Hugs FIONA] SHREK Fiona! Fiona! 24 FG Fiona, Fiona! Ho-ho-ho! Oh, 💫! I don’t think 🤔 they can 👂 🇻🇮, pigeon.[sighs deeply] Don’t you think 💭💭 you’ve already messed her life ☝️ enough? SHREK I just wanted her to be 😄. FG And now she can be. Oh, sweetheart. She’s finally found🔎🔎 the prince of her dreams. SHREK But 👀 at me. Look 😦 I’ve 🔨 for her. FG It’s 🕘 you 🚏 living in 🅰️ fairy tale, Shrek. She’s 🅰️ 👸, and you’re an 👹. That’s something 👎 amount of potion will ever change🚼. SHREK But…I 💖 her. FG If you really 👫 her… you’ll let her go. SHREK 🍂 SCENE 🖱 THE UGLY STEPSISTER’S TAVERN SISTER Here you go, boys🙇. PUSS Just leave ◀️ the 🍼, Doris. SISTER Hey. Why the long 😱? SHREK It was all just 🅰️ stupid mistake. I never should 🈶 rescued her from that 🗼 in the first 🏆. PUSS I 😡 Mondays. DONKEY I can’t believe you’d 🚶 away from the best📈 thing that happened to you. SHREK What choice do I 🈶? She loves💘 that pretty 👶, Prince Charming. DONKEY Come 🔛. Is he really that 👌-looking👀? SISTER Are you kidding? He’s gorgeous! He has🈶 🅰️ 😕 that looks👀 😗 🇮🇹 was carved by 😇angels😇. PUSS Oh. He sounds🔈🔈 dreamy. 25 SHREK You know…shockingly, this isn’t making me feel any better 🌟🌟. Look, guys👱👱. It’s for the ✨best ✨. Mom and Dad approve, and Fiona gets🉐🉐 the 👴 she’s always dreamed of. Everybody 😤wins😤. DONKEY Except for you. I don’t 🉐 🇮🇹, Shrek. You 💙 Fiona. SHREK Aye. And that’s why I 🈶 to let her go. KING enters in 🅰️ cloak, at the ↩️ of the tavern. KING Excuse me, is she 📍? GUARD She’s, uh… in the ⬅️. KING Oh, 👋 again. Fairy Godmother. Charming. FG You’d better 🌟 🈶 🅰️ 👌 reason for dragging 🇻🇮 ⤵️ 📌, Harold. KING Well, I’m afraid Fiona isn’t really… warming♨️ 🔺 to Prince Charming. CHARMING FYI, not my fault. FG No, of course 🇮🇹it’s🇮🇹 not, dear. CHARMING I 😏, how charming can I be when I 🈶 to pretend I’m that dreadful 👹? KING No, 😣, it’s🇮🇹 nobody’s fault. Perhaps 🇮🇹it’s🇮🇹 best 📈 if we just 📲 the whole thing 📴, 👌? FG and CHARMING What? KING You can’t force someone to 🌻 in 💏! FG I beg to differ. I do 🇮🇹 all the 🕠! [pulls out 🅰️ magical potion from her bag] Have Fiona 🍻 this and 🐚she’ll🐚 🌻 in 💛 with the first 👱 she 💋kisses 💋💋, which will be Charming. KING Umm… 👎. FG What did you say? KING I can’t. I won’t do 🇮🇹. FG Oh, 🆗, you will. If you remember, I 🆘helped🆘 you with your happily 🌈 ever after. And I can take 🇮🇹 away just as🅰️ easily. Is that 😦 you want? Is 🇮🇹? 26 KING No. FG Good 👲. Now, we 🈶 to go. I need to do Charming’s 💈 before the 🏐. He’s hopeless. He’s all 🔊 in the front. He can never 🉐 to the ↩️. You need someone to do the ⬅️. CHARMING Oh. Thank you, Mother. DONKEY Mother? FG The 👹! Stop them! Stop them! The guards💂 grab SHREK, DONKEY and PUSS and all 🚪 SCENE 🍀 IN THE CASTLE The KING enters with 🅰️ 👫 of 🍵 cups🍶. He pours the poison☠ into 1️⃣ of them, just before FIONA enters. KING Darling? Ah. I 💭 I might 🔍 you 📌. How about 🅰️ nice 🐪 🍶 of ☕️ before the 🎳? FIONA I’m not going. KING The whole Kingdom’s turned out to celebrate your 💍. FIONA There’s just 1️⃣ ⚠️. That’s not my husband. I 😏, 👀 at him. KING Yes, he is 🅰️ bit different, but 👪 change🚼🚼 for the ones1️⃣ they 💟. You’d be 🙀 how much I changed🚼🚼 for your 👪. FIONA Change? He’s completely lost his mind! KING Why not come 🔻 to the ⚽️ and give him another chance? You might 🔍 you 👭 this 🆕 Shrek. FIONA But it’s 🇮🇹 the 👵 1️⃣ I fell🎃 in 😻 with, Dad. I’d give anything to 🈶 him 🔙. [reached for 1️⃣ of the 🍵 cups] KING Darling. That’s mine⛏. Decaf. Otherwise I’m 🔝 all 🌓. FIONA [drinking from the other cup] Thanks. 27 SCENE 5️⃣ THE DUNGEON DONKEY I 🉐got 🉐 to 🉐 out of 📍! I 🉐got 🉐🉐 to 🉐 out of 🈁! You can’t 🔒 🇺🇸 🔺 💖 this! Let me go! What about my Miranda rights ▶️▶️? You’re supposed to say I 🈶 the ▶️ to remain 😶. Nobody said I 🈶 the ▶️ to remain 🔕! SHREK You HAVE the ▶️ to remain 🔕. What you lack is the capacity. PUSS I must 👫 🔛 before I, too, go totally 😠. PINOCHIO Shrek? Donkey? PUSS Too 🕣. SHREK Gingy! Pinocchio! Get 🇺🇲 out of 📍! GINGY Quick! Tell 🅰️ lie! PINOCHIO What should I say? SHREK Anything, but quick! GINGY Say something crazy 💗, “I’m wearing ladies’👵 underwear!” PINOCHIO I am wearing ladies’ 👩 underwear. SHREK Are you? PINOCHIO I most certainly am not! [his 👃 grows] DONKEY It 👀looks👀 💚 you most certainly am are! PINOCHIO I am not! PUSS What kind? GINGY [looking in the ↩️ of PINOCHIO’s lederhosen] It’s 🅰️ thong! PINOCHIO Oww! They’re briefs! GINGY Are not. PINOCHIO Are too! GINGY Here we go. Hang tight. [picks the 🔒 with PINOCHIO’s nose] SHREK Okay 🙇boys🙇🙇! We’ve got🉐 to ⏹ that 👄! 28 DONKEY I 💭 you was going to let her go. SHREK I was, but I can’t let them do this to Fiona. DONKEY Boom! That’s 😦 I 💒 to 👂. Look who’s coming around! PINOCHIO It’s impossible! You’ll never 🉐 in. The 🏯castle’s🏯 guarded💂. There’s 🅰️ moat and everything! [nose shrinks 🔙 down] GINGY Folks, 🇮🇹 👀looks👀👀 💗 we’re ☝️ 🍪 creek without 🅰️ Popsicle stick. SHREK Don’t worry😟 guys💂, I 🈶 🅰️ plan. To the 🏰! SCENE 🕡 THE ROYAL BALL ROYAL MESSENGER Ladies and gentlemen🎩🎩. Presenting Princess Fiona and her 🆕 husband, Prince Shrek. AUDIENCE 👏applauses👏, 📣. CHARMING begins 🏴 and encouraging the audience FIONA Shrek, 😦 are you doing? CHARMING I’m just 🃏 the 〽️, Fiona. FIONA Is that glitter 🔛 your 💋? CHARMING Mm. Cherry flavored. Want to 😝? FIONA Ugh! What is with you? CHARMING But, Muffin Cake… FIONA 🉐gets🉐🉐 fed ☝️ and turns to leave🍂, CHARMING looks👀 at FG for 🆘. FG [Sotto Voce] Play something! Now! [turns to the AUDIENCE] Ladies and gentlemen🎩. I’d 💚 to dedicate this song to… Princess Fiona and Prince Shrek. CHARMING Fiona, my Princess. Will you honor me with 🅰️ dance? AUDIENCE Dance! Dance! FIONA Since when do you dance? 29 CHARMING Fiona, my dearest, if there’s 1️⃣ thing I know, it’s🇮🇹 that 😘 is 🈵 of 😲surprises😲. OUTSIDE THE BALL All ▶️, fellas! Let’s crash this 🎈! GUARD Halt ▶️ there! GINGY Make me! GUARD grabs GINGY by the collar GINGY Not the gumdrop 🔵! DONKEY and PUSS grab the GUARD DONKEY Go! Go! Your 👵 needs you! Go! SHREK exits🚪🚪 PUSS Today, I repay my debt. GUARD yells and is chased offstage by PUSS. DONKEY, PINOCHIO and GINGY FOLLOW SHREK Stop! Hey, you! Back away from my wife. FIONA Shrek? FG You couldn’t just go ↩️ to your swamp and 🍃leave🍃 well enough alone. SHREK Pinocchio! Get the wand! PINOCHIO runs💨💨 for the wand but gets🉐🉐 zapped along the ↕️. His ‘PINOCHIO’ 👃 is gone. PINOCHIO I’m 🅰️ real 🙇! The WOLF barges in and 🌬blows 🌬 the wand out of FG’s 👎, GINGY picks ⚒ 🇮🇹 🔝 and accidentally zaps PINOCHIO, his wooden 👃 appears again. PINOCHIO I’m 🅰️ real 🙇. Aah! Oh. FG That’s mine⛏! PUSS and DONKEY enter DONKEY Pray for mercy, from Puss… PUSS and Donkey! FG She’s taken the potion! Kiss her now! CHARMING 😙kisses😙 FIONA 30 SHREK No! CHARMING and FIONA 👀 at eachother longingly, SHREK is heartbroken. FIONA (headbutting CHARMING) Hya! ALL gasp SHREK Fiona. FIONA Shrek. SHREK and FIONA embrace FG Harold! You were supposed to give her the potion! KING Well, I guess I gave her the wrong ☕️. CHARMING [snatching the wand and tossing 🇮🇹 ⬅️ to FG] Mommy! FIONA Mommy? FG I told you. Ogres don’t live happily😂 ever after. FG tries to zap SHREK but KING grabs the wand. They both disappear. FIONA Oh, Dad![sobbing] PINOCHIO Is he…? GINGY Yup. He 🐸croaked🐸. Croak 🎵 can be 🇭🇲. FIONA ⛏picks⛏ 🔺 🅰️ 🐸 QUEEN Harold? FIONA Dad? KING I’d 🙏hoped🙏 you’d never 🙈 me 🏩 this. DONKEY And he gave you 🅰️ hard 🕞! SHREK Donkey! KING No, ❌, he’s ▶️. I’m 🙇. To both of you. I only wanted 😦 was best🆗🆗 for Fiona. But I can 👀 now… she already 🈶has🈶 🇮🇹. Shrek, Fiona… Will you 🉑 an 👴 frog’s🐸 apologies🙇… and my blessing? QUEEN Harold? KING I’m 💔, Lillian. I just 🙏 I could be the 👴 you deserve. 31 QUEEN You’re ➕ that 👱 today than you ever were… warts and all. Clock 🔔chimes🔔 PUSS Boss! The Happily Ever After Potion! SHREK Midnight! Fiona. Is this 😦 you want? To be this ↕️ forever? FIONA What? SHREK Because if you 😙 me now… we can stay 💒 this. FIONA You’d do that? For me? SHREK Yes. FIONA I want 😦 any 👸 wants. To live happily😃 ever after, [SHREK leans in to 😽 her but she stops🚏 him] with the 👹 I married. PUSS Whatever happens, I must not 😢! You cannot make me 😭! [sobs] Clock chimes🎐🎐. Flashing 🔆lights🔆, 🅰️as🅰️ the crowd gathers 🔃 and reveals the 👹 SHREK and FIONA SHREK Now, where were we? Oh. I remember. Fade out. Spotlight 🔛 DONKEY. DONKEY Hey! Isn’t we supposed to be having🈶 🅰️ fiesta? FANFARE

GIG REVIEW: DRAKE @ SSE HYDRO

By Jake Cordiner (@jjjaketh)

I’ll admit it, I was apprehensive about paying £80+ to see Drake. I’d never paid that much to see anyone before, but as soon as Drizzy walked out onstage and fired straight into an incendiary version of Trophies it was made abundantly clear that I had sweet fuck all to be apprehensive about.


Drake absolutely killed it. Top to bottom, this was one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve ever been to. Aubrey had the entirety of the Hydro in the palm of his hands. Arriving on stage at around 8:45 (the wait for him to actually come out was one of my very few complaints about the night. There was around 45 minutes between the main support and Drake himself) the 6 God was fired up for the duration of his 30 song set. Backed by a percussionist, a pianist and a DJ, he flew through the set with aplomb.


He frequently thanked the crowd for singing along and being so loud and he must have said Glasgow had been his favourite night of the 20+ date European tour about 10 times. Now I know what you’re thinking, “of course he did, everyone says that” but there seemed to be a genuine sincerity in his voice when he said it. On the subject of Drake speaking to the crowd, he really is a fantastic showman. At one point he told a story about how he and his pianist were in a restaurant-exclusive John Legend cover band and, around halfway through the set, he downed a half cup of straight whiskey because he’s Drake and he’s an absolute fucking nutter.

As far as the songs in the set, it was all killer no filler from beginning to end. Highlights included a MASSIVE sounding version of Know Yourself (in which Drake instructed his “Mosh Pit Gang” to “lose their fucking minds” bless him), undeniable bangers Hotline Bling, One Dance and Feel No Ways and a furious sounding Pop Style. However, my personal highlight was when he brought out motherfucking GIGGS, who played Whippin Excursion from his 2016 Landlord album, much to the joy of the 100 odd people in the crowd who actually recognised who he was. Drake also brought out Popcaan for a few tunes, which was bloody ace.

My only massive complaint I had with the set was the fact that Drake played next to nothing from his latest album/playlist/mixtape/whateverthefuckhescallingit More Life. Apart from walking out to Passionfruit, the only other song he performed from More Life was Fake Love (which, admittedly was absolutely awesome). It just seemed like a missed opportunity to have Giggs come to the show and not perform any of the songs he features on from the new album. That’s a very minor complaint, though, because at the end of the day this was an absolutely incredible show. From the stage production (which was cool as all hell) to Drake’s performance itself, this was a night no one in the crowd will forget in a hurry.

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Reading And Leeds Just Announced Their Lineup and the Internet Isn’t Happy

Could one of the largest UK festivals face the same fate as T after another lukewarm announcement?

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

2016 is all but a distant memory for most, in no small part due to how much of a hellish year it was, though it was thankfully redeemed by the quality music that was on display. Unfortunately, though, that didn’t mean that music was impenetrable, shown by the surprise but long-rumored cancellation of T In The Park as well as the threat of closure for various small music venues across the nationHowever, 2017 has already got off to a great start with a great batch of albums dropping (see RTJ3 & I See You for example) in addition to a replacement to the aforementioned T In The Park titled TRNSMT (pronounced transmit).

It was only a matter of time until one of the most attended festivals in the UK was to make their second lineup announcement and as Reading & Leeds took to the stage, they tripped on the first step and face planted immediately.

Oh my. Before we get into the aspect of this line-up that has caused a great ruckus on social media, let’s take a glance at what a £200 ticket is gonna get you. The newly added headliner is the result of Danny Dyer and Peep Show’s Super Hans forming a band: Kasabian. While having a few good albums under their belt, Kasabian are very much like the already announced Muse which may have many attendees bored of white man fronted rock music by the end of the weekend. In addition to Kasabian, R+L also revealed various acts who will be performing including Wiley (yay!), Jimmy Eat World (woo!) and…Rat Boy….(yay?).

As you can expect from the above tweet, many were left unimpressed by the second announcement with many claiming that a lack of diversity, both gender, and genre-wise, being the key reason that they wouldn’t pick up a ticket despite the final line up not being revealed till spring.

https://twitter.com/hauntingidle/status/824595383426940928

 

However, the below tweet definitely caught my attention due to not only how laughably ignorant it was but how much of a perfect representation it is of the vast majority of NME readers.

Yep, it’s time to get into everyone’s favourite subject, diversity or the lack thereof. Out of the 58 musicians (that’s individuals, not 58 different acts) that will be taking part, only one is female. In addition to that, the one female artist is in a band alongside two other men, continuing the trend of a total lack of female performers at music festivals.This isn’t a brand new issue by any means as shown by the 2015 final line-up which, when stripped of all its male acts, looked a little something like this:

Oh, and the statement that “80% of women musicians are absolutely pants” couldn’t be further from the truth: St Vincent, Courtney Barnett, Grimes, SOAK, Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen, HAIM, Fake Boyfriend and Carley Rae Jepsen are just some of the few acts that are solely female in addition to bands like The XX, CHVRCHES, Wolf Alice, Crystal Castles, Alabama Shakes, Sleigh Bells and Yeah Yeah Yeahs who are either female lead or at least feature one. If you have a look at these acts as well, nearly all are either rock orientated or have previously played the festival before so the excuse that female musicians are usually pop singers is ridiculous.

The issue of this diversity isn’t a case of having token female acts, it’s the issue of ignoring, whether intentional or not, the fact there are various talented acts who would be much better suited to the festival to someone like Bastille. Many will debate for hours, even days, about whether this decision is fueled by misogyny and ignorance which I won’t get into since, really, it’s not my place and I’d rather not be burned at the stake regardless of what I say. It’s a topic that is far more complex than a blog post is capable of tackling but what is clear to see is that the lack of diversity is not only bad for the festival, who will turn off potential attendees with a lineup full of average male bands, but also for their listeners who will be subjected to it.

So, for the love of god Reading + Leeds, get your finger out your fictional arse and make the final line-up something that will make me regret ever saying such slanderous things about you. As it stands, though, I’d rather drown in a mud-drenched tent than fork out a single penny for this festival.


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Clickbait Cop: NME -“Vinyl Revolution Is A Sham”

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

Believe it or not, I don’t actively go on the hunt to find content like the piece we’re going to discuss today. Much like some prankster bringing a bag full of dog shit, lighting it on fire and chapping my door before running away, NME is consistently caught with the torjet and excrement in hand with their badly written and generic clickbait articles that seemingly flood my newsfeed despite unfollowing them on all social media.

Beforehand they had always been in my bad books for being the breeding ground for bland and dull indie rock devoid of all charisma in addition to being a safe space for old white guys to complain about Kanye West and other rappers because they “ain’t real music”. Finally, though, the magazine has fucked up big time and may very well set most of their own readership against them with one of their latest posts titled “The Vinyl Revolution Is A Sham”.

Written by Leonie Cooper, the article makes the claim that the recent boom in vinyl is a fad with albums that are being bought being golden oldies like The Stone Roses debut release and that the majority of people who are buying them are doing it merely to be cool. In one of her paragraphs, Cooper says: 

It’s not an entirely out-there assumption, especially considering the current popularity of vinyl frames, made for the express purpose of locking up your records and placing them on the wall, which makes them pretty difficult – even impossible – to then play.

Being a vinyl enthusiast myself and a journalist as well, this article insulted me on various levels. Not only does the author of this piece seem to be totally naive, debatable of whether or not this is intentional, to the fact that vinyl sounds far superior to its MP3 counterparts but she seems to quickly brush over the fact that vinyl sales have recently dominated over digital downloads, showing both a complete lack of research as well as a clear bias which makes whatever the author’s aim is far less compelling.

In the process of claiming that those who buy vinyl are doing everything in their power to act against the mainstream, Cooper comes across as the fuhrer of the hipster race as she misses out some key aspects of the vinyl revolution that are vital when discussing the format. As one commenter pointed out, the reason why the majority of the vinyl charts consisted of older records no doubt came down to the fact that many consumers may be unwilling to buy a new record for the lofty but justifiable price and may want to dip their toes by starting off with an artist they’re familiar with which explains why the likes of Radiohead, David Bowie and co. all make an appearance.

Not only that but Cooper seems to have had a bit of a brain fart by forgetting to include the recent statistic showing that the recent vinyl revolution has lead to the number of physical music shops in the UK reaching a record high with the number of independent record stores also reaching a five-year peak back in 2015, reported by none other than NME themselves! Whether or not people are buying big name artist’s vinyls, it’s evidently clear that by people buying these records, stores are now able to function without the worry of becoming irrelevant or bankrupt once more.

Unfortunately, though, the reality of independent labels benefiting from the vinyl revolution as well as record stores is irrelevant when it comes to clickbait journalism like what has been witnessed with this NME article. Just by me writing this post, I have “bit” and gave the author exactly what they wanted: so for your sake and mine, ignore their trashy piece of journalism, chuck on a vinyl (whether it’s Aphex Twin or Justin Bieber) and breathe a sigh of relief that you can enjoy something without sounding like an utter arse.


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ALBUM REVIEW: Crystal Castles -Amnesty (I)

History is written by the victors. While this may be often applied to battles and the likes, the famous quote seems to hold some relevance whenever the turmoil that was the breakup of Crystal Castles comes into play. However, there wasn’t  a victor so much as there was someone willing to carry on the name irregardless of the fact that one of the most important aspects is absent, in this case Alice Glass whose departure was due to “reasons both professional and personal“. Ethan Kath, the silent mastermind behind this electronic project, hasn’t so much attempted to reinvigorate the act by wiping Glass’ involvement, rather he’s went out on a limb by choosing another gaspy and eerie female vocalist, this time Edith Frances, to take over the reigns as front-woman.

With Amnesty, titled alongside a (I) implying that Kath has plans to start a new trilogy of records under the Crystal Castles name, we get our first taste of a band attempting to reboot themselves with mixed results. Kath’s production has always been the biggest draw when it’s came to their music and it’s a relief to see that the three year wait since the dread fuelled gloomy LP that was (III) hasn’t harmed his skills. Orchestrating waves of lo-fi splendour with great care, the gradual evolution of 8-bit nostalgia to synth melancholy to apocalyptic electro which took three albums for Crystal Castles to achieve is condensed into this one record which would be overwhelming if it weren’t for the fact that nothing really new is brought to the table.

Instead, what is delivered is very much a greatest hits rather than a new chapter in the band’s career: despite his best efforts to continue Crystal Castles without her, it’s almost fitting that Glass’ ghost can be felt haunting the tapestries of synth woven madness. In Kath’s attempt to prove that Crystal Castles has always been more of his project than anyone else’s, he unfortunately shoots himself in the foot.

Not to say that what he produces isn’t good, in fact some of the tracks on here are some of the best he’s crafted so far, but there isn’t much breathing space given to new collaborator Frances who, given the creative freedom, could win over fans who miss Glass’ ferocity and unpredictable nature. This is evidently clear on tracks like Ornament and Char where Kath tones down his bombastic sounds to a more delicate level, allowing Frances to display a more controlled and alluring vocal performance which Glass could never quite seem to perfect despite her best efforts.

Image result for crystal castles 2016

Despite their sound not being as unique as it was back in 2008, Crystal Castles still manage to feel refreshing even without Glass being present to give the act their staple edge. Unfortunately, her replacement manages to show glimmers of potential that are overshadowed by Kath’s ego fuelled attempts to show what he’s capable, something that nobody really ever questioned. Given the proper chance, it’s clear that Crystal Castles 2.0 can carry on the name in a tasteful fashion rather than being a shameless reboot.

7/10

-Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

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REVIEW: BoJack Horseman – Season Three

Who would have thought that a TV show starring an anthropomorphic horse would be able to beat out the likes of HBO’s Game of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead to solidify itself as one of the best shows to grace television (well, Netflix at least) at the moment? It’s been awhile since something like BoJack Horseman has came along with an unparalleled sense of humour and heart, not only in animation but entertainment itself, something that hasn’t been achieved since arguably the haydays of something like The Simpsons.

For anyone who finds themselves completely out the loop and wish to stay spoiler free yet want to know what the show is about, Will Arnett of Arrested Development fame voices BoJack Horseman who, as the ending credits tell you, was in a very famous TV show back in the 90’s and since then has struggled with being a down and out actors as well as other existential and alcohol fueled issues.

All of this sets it up to be far more dark than the show genuinely is as it manages to pack in the laughs as often as possible which is helped massively by its supporting cast of characters, some of which are humans and others members of the animal kingdom which leads to a lot of the funniest moments in the season. It would be bad enough etiquette for a waiter to dip his thumb into your soup but when said waiter is also a fly then it’s enough to make you snigger at the very least.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

We’ve witnessed BoJack’s struggle back into relevancy with his tell-all autobiography and last season’s passion driven movie role about his childhood hero Secretariat. With Season Three we have the premise surrounding oscar buzz and BoJack’s hopes to win it which brings with it new and old characters though this is pretty much just a backdrop for what this season really is: a non stop punch to the gut which makes each episode even more difficult to watch.

Of course that kind of goes against the whole quota that Netflix pretty much worship with their approach to crafting TV shows bringing with it a new age of binge watching. It’s not like you won’t find yourself watching back to back episodes here as the first half manages to con you into thinking “hey, maybe things are finally looking up for BoJack” which is all swiftly destroyed like a house of cards as the latter half of the season. This show has never shown mercy before and there were instances in this season where I contemplated turning it off due to the unbearableness of it all. From the death of Sarah Lynn to Todd’s heartbreaking dialogue towards BoJack, any glimmer of hope that we saw before was viscerally kerb stomped before us and while some may say they’ve grown tired of our titular character being an asshole, the finale is enough to make this feel like a total turning point.

The show has been hailed as original yet difficult TV and that’s the only way I can think to describe what this season was all about. It was amazing to see the characters we’ve had over the past two seasons still developing and becoming more fleshed out as well as witnessing some creative and refreshing  episodes such as the near enough dialogue empty underwater episode.

BoJack’s constant struggles are still as alluring albeit trainwreck-esque as they have been before and as the credits rolled and the season ended, it’s impossible not to ponder about the many questions this show has asked and how it’ll answer them come next year’s installment. In the meantime though, Season Three stands out as one of the best things to grace our tablets/TVs/laptops this year.

-Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

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AN INTERVIEW WITH: WEAK13

With a well documented underground nature and undergoing multiple lineup changes, Weak13 standout decently well from the long list of alternative rock acts to appear from the midlands. We get under the skin and find out what makes the band tick while talking to bassist Wesley “munky” Smith.

Can you tell us how your band first came together, and what that whole process was like for you?

Wesley “munky” Smith: The current WEAK13 lineup came together in 2010 after Nick J Townsend (the founding member) felt the band needed a good shake up; he wanted members of all styles and influences; thus he scouted out me and Neel Parmar and his choices were wise as in the first rehearsal we had together it was like we had played together for years and musically we all clicked!

What sets your band apart from anyone else?

Wesley “munky” Smith: WEAK13 really is the most freedom to experiment in a band that I’ve ever felt and that openness to write whatever I feel on bass for the songs is unique in itself. If I want to play a funky slap n pop bass line I can or even use a dance/dub step bass sound I can; we all trust in each others ideas and abilities and it just works! Personally I believe too many bands out there are clone bands that sound way to similar to other big bands. We already have an Iron Maiden or Alter bridge but a lot of bands sound like them. WEAK13 have our influences we get compared too but it’s like one of our album reviews stated “WEAK13 has an identity of their own”

How has the sound of your band grown since you first started out?

Wesley “munky” Smith: WEAK13 has had many lineup changes over the years since it was born in 1999 but thanks to nick’s unique instantly recognisable vocals even though the musicians have changed it’s always felt like WEAK13 I think now we are a culmination of every style the band has previously been, our debut album ‘They Live’ shows that and wait till you hear what we’re currently putting together for the next album!



What does it take to be on top of your instrument/vocals, and can you tell us a bit about your practice routine as a musician?

Wesley “munky” Smith: I don’t think you can ever really be on top of your instrument (it might damage it ha ha); I’m constantly learning new techniques and styles if I feel it will fit into a song or experimenting with different sounds. As for practise routines I play along to a VERY wide variety of styles of music even classical we also enjoy rehearsals together to practise jam and write new material!

Can you tell us about the current equipment you use?

Wesley “munky” Smith: Nick uses an ESP guitar with a Boss GT 100 effects pedal also a Boss VE20 vocal processor to create the same studio vocal sound live! I use an Ibanez SR50 bass with a Roland GR55 guitar synth pedal because it allows me to do pretty much what I want! Neel is actually currently in the process of rehashing his drum setup but that’s a secret for now!

How long does it take to find that perfect set up? Or is it just a constant work in progress?

Wesley “munky” Smith: Definitely a work in progress. I’m happy with what we currently use as it has given me the all round bass sound for different techniques that I’ve always wanted plus with the synth side it gives me complete freedom of expression! The overall sound is pretty bad ass and full for just a 3 piece band we can can be as soft and quiet as a mouse or as loud and in your face heavy as Motörhead!

What’s the hardest part about being in a band, and why?

Wesley “munky” Smith: The hardest part these days is getting people to listen in a market that’s saturated with so much good originality and yet the media focus on so much unoriginal copycat pap. Also; too many bands see it as a competition these days instead of helping each other out, even some promoters are like this, not all though; there are some genuine ones like Jason McGuire from TBFM for example! But it’s a real downer on the underground music business sometimes that’s one of the hardest things!

WEAK13 (1)

Alternatively, what’s the most rewarding part about being in a band, and why?

Wesley “munky” Smith: Thankfully the pluses outweigh the minuses here! I love the whole creative process of making an album from writing to recording with our amazing sound engineer John Stewart (guitarist from band Eight Great Fears), creating ideas and storyboards then filming them as music videos is great fun too, I love jamming rehearsing and chilling with Nick and Neel also the live performances because we always do something a bit different like a projector intro with crazy and informative images displayed throughout the set or our acoustic shows where we have wrapped ourselves in newspapers; Neel has even used upturned buckets as an acoustic percussion set! But there is nothing like a high energy gig with responsive crowd; it makes it all worthwhile!

What can you tell us about your latest release, and why should our readers check it out?

Wesley “munky” Smith: Our debut album ‘They Live’ is 11 tracks of creative originality designed to encompass what WEAK13 is truly capable of! It’s filled with real life conspiracy theory and fact; humour and sadness; it’s a little bit of everything all rolled into one and it’s going down a treat with reviewers. We haven’t had a bad review yet. It’s normal for WEAK13 to get 5/5, 8/10 or 9/10. Great comments and positive feedback; see for yourself at weak13official.com

 

What do you want this release to do for the representation of your band?

 Wesley “munky” Smith: It is doing exactly what we intended and that was to show people that WEAK13 have something to say; that we aren’t your everyday run of the mill artists and we will not stop doing what we are doing! We have supporters from all over the world! At one of our latest gigs a guy had come from France just to watch us! Everyone who has bought the album has said they love it and want more so we WILL happily oblige!

 Touring wise, can you give us a couple of personal highlights from your time on the road since you started out?

Wesley “munky” Smith: Every gig is a highlight for me but two that stand out for me include a gig in Worcester when me and Nick were setup and ready wondering “Where’s Neel ?”and “What the hell we gonna do as at this point?” (it was the first year together); we hadn’t even done any acoustic versions; then with only one minute till we had to start Neel rushes in, throws on a couple of cymbals and off we went! Also playing Kidderminster town hall was amazing; the stage is huge, the venue is big and was packed out; all round great night!

What do you like to do on the road to pass the time?

 Wesley “munky” Smith: Unfortunately for me I’m not good at travelling long distance; it makes me very tired so to keep myself busy and occupied I either use my phone for WEAK13 online promotion etc; listen to demos to get ideas for bass lines for future album tracks; or I’m a games geek so I play my Nintendo 3DS!

Where would you really like to tour the most in the world, and why?

 Wesley “munky” Smith: I was in Texas in April earlier this year and the manager of the Hard Rock Cafe loved our album and said he would love us to play there. Nick has been to LA a few times; Neel has travelled the world but I think we would really go down well in the USA; we have a fan base spread all over America so a big tour there would be amazing!

What bands have really influenced you over the years, and why?

Wesley “munky” Smith: I could list hundreds of bands here but a few would be Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Bob Marley, Micheal Jackson, The levellers, Pantera, Rage Against The Machine, Beethoven! Why? That’s simple because they all made great music that soothed my soul!

What does it take to maintain a healthy relationship within a band?

Wesley “munky” Smith: For a start communication. If you can’t do that then quit now; but I think what makes a successful relationship in a band is simply choosing the right people for the job and not trying to dictate what any member should do!

Where do you see your band in five years time?

Wesley “munky” Smith: I can see our next album being the one that puts us firmly on the map and people then buying ‘They Live’ saying “how did I miss out on this?”. Really things keep going from strength to strength for us so there are some very exciting times ahead! Either that or some Government agency will have been sent to kill us off ha ha ha!

What does the rest of 2016 hold for your band?

Wesley “munky” Smith: Mainly concentrating on writing for the next album but we have a few gigs lined up; we are booking some more and another music video is going into production which will be used to promote our album overseas as this video will be different from the rest typical WEAK13 just when you think you’ve sussed us out we change the game! Meanwhile check out our album only available from weak13official.com

REVIEW: The Pale Kids – You Decide

To have a band named after an introverted yet loyal group of friends from an animated Disney show from the 90’s, it should be no surprise that North Ayrshire act The Pale Kids bring with them an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. While it may not be in the traditional angsty nostalgia sense where they argue about how cartoons in their day were so much better and that kids nowadays don’t know what they’re missing on, there’s a rose tinted view on a variety of early to mid 2000’s influences that radiates from their sound and, amalgamated with their own charm and zesty lyricism, results in the band’s debut release You Decide, undoubtedly one of the best listens of the year so far.

Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t blame you as not even the “post-post-punk” outfit themselves seem to realise the great music they’re coming out with, especially in their bio that oozes with humour where after noting ibiza ideology, the band describe themselves as “normal human beings”. However, just like a “man” in an off license wearing an overly long coat with stilts poking out the bottom, the band are far from just your typical band of young aspirational musicians. As soon as Not Listening kicks off the band’s eight song long release, it feels like what the Pale Kids are making is like a perfectly calculated equation where introvertedness seeps through unapologetically both in the lyrics and sound.

Guitars ping perfectly along to a pretty joyous rhythm, juxtaposing some weird and pessimistic lines about being bored since 9/11 and becoming your parents. It almost feels like something Alex Turner would have penned on one of the Arctic Monkey’s early record with some droll introspectiveness about the band’s hometown as well as some visceral imagery about romance and boredom making this track amongst others on here some of the smartest and most interesting music to have came out from a small band in quite some time.

The fact that Pale Kids can go from mid 2000’s British Indie rock to start of the century NYC post-punk is quite remarkable indeed, especially on the following track Cold Blooded where the band channel their inner Julian Casablancas and co. with a slick and noisy production value managing to make the anti-capitalist motif behind the song as well as some sinister lines about some nursery school classic easier to swallow. If any Communist parties are looking for an effortlessly cool new anthem then they should definitely hit this up.

Let me cut this professional demeanour to end this article as it’s a challenge to keep it up when you can’t resist just formally perfusing how much you enjoy something. From the fuzzy feedback drenched moments to the angsty, romance torn lyrics to cynical lines about dicks on the dancefloor, Pale Kids just manage to own this image of an act who are having a blast just writing angry and unusual songs from the comfort of their favourite hangout spot with one another. Just like the image obsessed weirdos that this release constantly takes shot at, Pale Kids are a new generation’s Weezer, making nerdy introverts cool all over again.

9/10

If you’re in need of some #goodvibes and like what you’ve read then be sure to check out Pale Kids at their launch night at The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow on 27th July too where they’ll have limited edition cassettes available.There’ll be support from Grand Pricks & STOCK MANAGER with entry being £4 or £7 along with a tape, be sure to come on by, it’ll be an amazing night!!!

-Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

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Get The Tissues: The Simpsons Moments That Hit You Where It Hurts

As bloggers will argue night and day about what is the best programme ever to be aired on television, it’s likely that The Simpsons will be missed out in favour of your Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad though that shouldn’t be the case. While animation tends to get the cold shoulder when it comes to serious recognition, there aren’t many programmes like Matt Groening’s yellow cult classic hit and although it has made us laugh, it’s those tearjerker moments that gave The Simpsons the emotional depth needed to cement its place in television history and inspire adult animation for decades to come. So without further ado, here are my favourite moments from The Simpsons that had me and many others teary eyed…

“Why did she leave me?”

It goes without saying that like most sitcoms based around a family, the father is the protagonist and with The Simpsons that is no different. Before later seasons dumbed down his character and removed what made him tick, Homer is the main focus of the series and brings with him moments full of emotion and melancholy. Mother Simpson is a master class of this where we see the often child like Homer at his most vulnerable with the appearance of his long absent Mother. While her inevitable touching departure at the end of the episode is heartbreaking enough, it’s the conversation between Marge and Homer during the episode that strikes a real chord:

Marge: I just don’t think you should get too excited about the woman who abandoned you for 25 years. You could get hurt again.
Homer: First, it wasn’t 25 years — it was 27 years. And second, she had a very good reason.
Marge: Which was…?
Homer: [pause] I dunno. I… guess… I was just a horrible son and no mother would want me.
Marge: Oh, Homey, come on. You’re a sweet, kind, loving man. I’m sure you were a wonderful son!
Homer: (unhappy) Then why did she leave me?

You Are Lisa Simpson

16. Season 2, Episode 19 “Lisa’s Substitute”

I feel like when the topic of well written female characters gets brought up, Lisa Simpson is often overlooked. While some may see her as annoying or pretentious, her persistence, dedication, intelligence and talent is undeniable and makes her a role model despite how young she is. However, Lisa is lacking in the confidence department and it’s not until the appearance of Mr Bergstrom that she learns a valuable lesson. After falling heads over heels for him, Lisa discovers that he is about to leave the town for a different job and chases him down to the station. Upon meeting him and confessing how she’ll be lost without him, Bergstrom hands her a note and says “Whenever you feel that you’re alone and there’s nobody you can rely on, this is all you need to know.” What does the note say?

You are Lisa Simpson

Both this and Lisa’s line to Mrs Hoover about how “he taught me that life was worth living” while fighting the tears makes this probably the most gut wrenching moment of the entire series, something that many fans of the show can agree with.

Do It For Her

 

Thanks to the internet this moment has well been tainted by a meme status of sorts though it doesn’t make this scene from And Maggie Makes Three any less amazing. After having quit his dream job as a pin monkey, Homer returns to the Power Plant where, upon his arrival, he’s given the plague (Sir, that’s plaque) by Mr Burns that reads “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever”. Fast forward to the present time and Bart asks what Homer has done with the pictures of Maggie where he replies “I keep them where I need the most cheering up.”

“I Choo Choo Choose You”

4. Season 4, Episode 15 “I Love Lisa”

Oh Ralph. Unlike Homer, the son of the expert police chief Mr Wiggum has never really been blessed with the same heartfeltness from the writers, instead usually being given glue or worms to eat. With the episode “I Love Lisa” though we finally got some much needed light shined upon this special little guy as a sympathetic gifting of a valentines card from Lisa results in Ralph showing so much affection to her that she ends up not being able to bare it and breaks his heart right in front of Krusty The Clown on National Television. Lisa, that’s just cold. On a serious note, this wasn’t so much a sad moment because of how Ralph was left heartbroken but more so the Let’s Bee Friends card that Lisa eventually sends Ralph, meaning the episode avoids a bitter ending and leaves the often mocked Wiggum one friend up which, for anyone who struggled to fit in, leaves you feeling somewhat proud.

“One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish”

13. Season 2, Episode 11 “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish”

Remember when Family Guy tried to pull the shocking move of killing off beloved character Brian? Well The Simpsons did that decades before and undoubtedly better in this Season 2 episode where after being poisoned at a sushi restaurant, Homer tries to make his final 24 hours matter. This includes listening to Lisa playing her sax which he often found irritating, which he totally forgets about when he gets lost in her rendition of When The Saints Go Marching In where he joins in, making amends with his father and being a great dad to Bart by teaching him some valuable life lessons. This episode as a whole is just one big trigger to have any fan of the show feeling depressed as it never lets down the extreme sombre atmosphere. As everyone expected, Homer doesn’t die but unlike Family Guy, the emotional payoff and the dread that plagued the episode felt genuine and even up until very last few minutes where Homer lays motionless in his seat listening to the bible, it was impossible to shake off that feeling of uncomfortableness.

I Married Marge – The Entire Episode

Can we just put it out there that Marge and Homer are the best written TV couple? The Simpsons has always been about the family in question but their aforementioned marriage has brought with it some of the shows happiest moments such as the ever classic hoarse rendition of The Carpenters’ Close To You as well as its saddest like where Homer almost cheats on her with red head Mindy as well as Lurleen Lumpkin when he was managing her. It’s never been a smooth relationship and these moments of struggle have helped to make Homer and Marge a very realistic portrayal of a couple. I Married Marge could be summed up as heartbreaking in its entirety as Homer struggles to deal with his soon to be sister in laws but also having to bare in mind his employment and fatherhood. All this becomes too much and results in a tearjerking letter left to Marge where Homer tells her that she won’t see him “until he is a man” following the sombre repossession of their wedding ring. Cue the sad violins…

Dumb Homer

Yes, I know, another Homer focussed sad moment but bare with me! While we all know him for being an absolute idiot but with a heart of gold, the episode HOMR explores the concept of what if he wasn’t actually stupid? After discovering that his extremely low IQ is caused by crayons lodged in his brain, surgeons remove it which results in him becoming more intelligent than ever thus becoming even closer with often alienated middle child Lisa.

While this is touching in its own, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as his new found intelligence has resulted in him becoming alienated from those close to him which  causes Homer to take “the coward’s way out” i.e  having Moe put the crayon back in. Before this though, much like most interactions with the two, Homer leaves Lisa a touching letter to detail his appreciation for her:

Lisa – I’m taking the coward’s way out. But before I do, I just wanted to say being smart made me appreciate just how amazing you really are.

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But wait, there’s more! Here’s a few quick scenes that can’t be ignored:

  • Bleeding Gums Murphy: One of the only characters to relate to Lisa, Bleeding Gums Murphy was a likable character who sadly passes away leaving her heartbroken. While this is sad enough on its own, the moment where Bart spends $500 to buy Lisa one of Murphy’s rare records to be played on a jazz radio station is a classic example of the two siblings setting aside their differences to show their love for one another.
  • Lisa On Ice: Bart and Lisa’s relationship has always provided great episodes and this one isn’t much different. After forming a bitter rivalry due to being on opposing hockey teams, the two go head to head and after a tied result, both drop their equipment and hug. Simple yet lovely.
    "Lisa on Ice"
  • Bart sells his soul to Millhouse for five dollars as he deems it useless. Once his luck turns sour and things start to go wrong, Bart goes a bit AWOL and becomes desperate, praying to god to give him his soul back. Everyone’s favourite veggie, no not me, Lisa saves the day and everyones sniff and lets out a sigh of relief.
    "Bart Sells His Soul"
  • The Death of Maude Flanders: While Ned is the butt of jokes in most episodes, the death of his wife and frustration at the god he has served for most of his life results in a difficult watch.
  • Staying on the subject of Flanders, we can’t ignore the episode where after opening a new store solely for left handed people, Homer wishes for it to fail though when it eventually does and Ned and his family are forced to sell their house, he’s struck with guilt. Gathering everyone in Springfield to buy enough stuff to keep the business afloat, Flanders is reinvigorated with his staple positivity.
    "When Flanders Failed"
  • Another Homer-Lisa touching moment, the show’s staple move to make any viewer a cry baby, this time set in the future at Lisa’s wedding. Homer’s speech is another heartwarming scene that will probably have you tearing up:
    Homer: Little Lisa, Lisa Simpson. You know, I always felt you were the best thing my name ever got attached to. Since the time you learned to pin your own diapers, you’ve been smarter than me.
    Lisa: Oh, Dad…
    Homer: No, no, let me finish. I just want you to know I’ve always been proud of you. You’re my greatest accomplishment and you did it all yourself. You helped me understand my own wife better and taught me to be a better person, but you’re also my daughter, and I don’t think anybody could have had a better daughter than you…
    Lisa: Dad, you’re babbling.
    Homer: See? You’re still helping me.
  • Not so much a moment of an episode but more so a chalkboard gag that hits a bit too close to home. After the passing of Marcia Wallace in 2013, the voice actress behind many characters including Mrs Krabappel, the intro to the episode of Four Regrettings and A Funeral opens with this:
    19. Season 25, Episode 3 “Four Regrettings and a Funeral”

Following this, one of the earliest episodes Bart Gets An F is something that students everywhere can relate to.

  • Here’s another one which isn’t so much part of an episode but is sad nonetheless. Once the classic Simpsons credits roll after Bart The Mother, the viewer is greeted with the below title card paying respects to voice actor Phil Hartman who voiced some of the funniest characters on the show including Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure. Rest in peace you amazing man.
  • Last but not least, we have the episode Marge Be Not Proud which was essentially a PSA about shoplifting. After being caught stealing a videogame and embarrassing Marge, Bart is left to face the consequences as his mother distances himself. There’s a few scenes that are solid tearjerkers like where Marge refuses to tuck him in but the final scene where Bart buys her a sentimental gift that has her overjoyed is enough to warm even the most heartless of viewers.

-Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

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