Senses Working Overtime: XTC and Dukes of Stratosphear Song-by-song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Dec 25, 2021.

  1. nedison

    nedison Peter Blegvad's #1 Fan

    Well I believe Martin's ambition was always to make Revolver in a garden shed, so no wonder he and Andy got on so swimmingly!
  2. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Augm

    Well, it goes to show you never can tell: I thought "Shiny Cage" would get the same kind of disdain that "You're my drug" got, and earlier this week I thought both would get a lotta love.

    I suspect, though, there's a few knives being sharpened.. but I've been wrong before!
  3. Lars Medley

    Lars Medley I lost on Jeopardy!

    Cage: PP is weird. I really like it as a whole but few of the individual tracks are in the 5 range for me. The back half of the album is just as good as the first side, if not better, and Cage is one of the reasons why. This one benefits from some real good-artists-borrow-great-artists-steal energy.

  4. redmedicine

    redmedicine Pop Punk Psych Prog

    Portland, OR
    This is an average Colin song, not too interesting compared to his recent run of good form on Skylarking. Kind of seems like a song trapped between the Dukes and XTC. 3.5/5
  5. drewrclv9

    drewrclv9 Forum Resident

    Eh, this is alright. Never been a huge favorite of mine, but it’s decent enough. The biggest problem is that it just plods along, never really getting exciting at any point. It almost gets there during the middle 8, but not quite. Nothing really stands out and it ends up being a bit too much of a snoozer for me. It doesn’t quite get to the point of really getting on my nerves like yesterday’s song, though.

  6. Michael Macrone

    Michael Macrone Forum Resident

    San Francisco, CA
    "Shiny Cage": Well, "I'm Only Sleeping" is top 5 Beatles in my world, which is both good and bad news for this particular track.

    That's so well put, and so true.

  7. dthomas850

    dthomas850 Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    Shiny Cage: Another top track from their catalogue and possibly my favorite Colin tune, this is another piece of perfect pop confection. If you're gonna write a Beatles influenced song, it better be good, and this one is effing great. and that guitar solo.......and yes, I do believe Colin's songs never quite reached this level on the albums going forward, dammit!
  8. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous.

    Denver CO
    Shiny Cage-good, but not the best cut on the album. 3/5.
  9. Will Harris

    Will Harris Forum Resident

    "Shiny Cage" gets a 5/5 rating on this very busy day for me today dealing with tests my doctor wanted,
    and too much of the rest spent at Endless Harmony Forum reading and posting stuff.

    I want my votes to be counted on first round, so will try for later tonight to get back here to explain my
    highly-to-mildly regarded explanations. :wave: And at this point :waiting: ... I also want to put up my Best of
    those masterful
    six songs that I believe makes
    a better E.p. than 25 O'Clock, tho I know most of you won't agree with me. We are all so opinionated.
  10. Nonsuch

    Nonsuch Knows a Little Bit About a Lot of Things

    Portland, OR
    Trying to get back in the swing of things with this thread. "Shiny Cage" is a tolerable "I'm Only Sleeping" knockoff but feels fairly uninspired otherwise. The sense of exploration-for-the-hell-of-it that powered 25 O'Clock is mostly absent here, and while there are still some highlights, the median level of achievement on Psunspot is lower. This track exemplifies that. I enjoy it, but I rarely go out of my way to hear it. 3/5
  11. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    "But he knew how to have a good time, and that was considered more important"
    KangaMom and pocketcalculator like this.
  12. Mr. D

    Mr. D Forum Resident

    Indeed and Colin delivers the goods. 4.5/5
  13. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Brainiac's Daughter", written by Sir John Johns and produced by John Leckie and XTC.

    The Dukes of Stratosphear – Brainiac's Daughter Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
    A would-be McCartney pastiche concerning the (non-existent) daughter of Brainiac, a fictional super-villian from the Superman universe.
    Line Up:
    Sir John Johns: vocals, guitar, ocarina, bubbles
    Lord Cornelius Plum: piano, bubbles
    Colin Moulding: bass, guitar, bubbles
    E.I.E.I. Owen: drums

    A demo was released on Fuzzy Warbles Volume Four in 2003, again on the 2009 reissue of Psonic Psunspot, and the Blu-Ray part of the 2019 CD/Blu-Ray compilation Psurroundabout Ride, which also included stereo, 5.1 and instrumental remixes of the studio track.
  14. bluedemon25

    bluedemon25 Me, I'm Just A Lawnmower

    united states
    4.5/5 a real good one from a great album
  15. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    "Brainiac's Daughter" - Well, Andy nailed the McCartneyisms alright, but unfortunately for me, it's all the dippy McCartney stuff I really don't like (the ocarina and bubbles part is particularly egregious). I'm giving Andy an extra .5 for incorporating a bunch of Superman references, but this song would have been much improved by being paired with "That's Really Super, Supergirl" and "Sgt. Rock" on a Dukes DC-inspired EP. It's plenty catchy, but also supremely stupid, which I guess means he nailed it. I still have only grudging appreciation for it: 3/5.
  16. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Brainiac is a no go for me. 2/5

    I’ll be honest and say that PP is a side 1 play for me. Side 2 is not great.
  17. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Brainiac is a 4.5/5, only losing the 0.5 due to the spoken word intro.
  18. drewrclv9

    drewrclv9 Forum Resident

    Absolutely love this one; a top 3 Dukes song for me, from either album, and also my favorite on this particular LP. Love all the vocals, the 'shimmery' backwards percussion effect that runs through the song, the silly solo in the middle of the track, and of course the irresistibly catchy and strong melodies strung throughout.

    No, it's not particularly Dukes-esque (or at least the standard 25 O'Clock form of them); it sounds much more like '89-'92 era XTC than the Dukes or mid-80's XTC. Regardless, it's gonna take a long time for me to get tired of hearing this wonderful song.

  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    The song is both annoying and kind of likeable....Not a favorite though.

  20. SMRobinson

    SMRobinson Forum Resident

    United States
    Well, it probably wasn't an issue istrumentally. Andy could "do" Hendrix on the guitar quite ably.
  21. PJayBe

    PJayBe Forum Resident

    Brainiac's Daughter - A song that always puts a broad smile on my face. For that reason alone it's 5/5 from me.
  22. eeglug

    eeglug Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, USA
    Brainiac's Daughter. Andy paints Paul. Except if it were Paul, the lyrics would be about kisses and long hair and the lying in a meadow instead of Superman lore. This track is so totally cutesie pie, isn't it? You have to be in that space to enjoy it. It's fun and catchy if u like that sort of thing.
  23. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Brainiac's Daughter"

    I'm surprised that I'm the first to mention the "O" word. For all the supposed McCartney-isms, it ends up sounding more like "Octopus's Garden". Having said that, I don't really get any 60s vibes from this. To me it just sounds like an even tamer and cornier version of "Supergirl". The vocals seem to be at the upper end of Andy's vocal capabilities - I get the impression that he did two passes at the vocals, one with just the lower notes and one with just the higher notes, and put them together. For all I know that may not be the case, or it may be a well-used recording technique, but I find it kind of distracting here. File this one under "pleasant but twee". 2.5/5.
  24. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Augm

    Weelll... It's alright.

    It shades a 4/5 for being in the right place. But, its the sort of tune that will pass by unnoticed until some people go "look out for" and "catch this bit". And I include AP in the list of "some people" there...
  25. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Glos, UK
    I think Andy flattered himself in comparing it to McCartney, who for me never did anything so (mildly) irritating until at least 1971. Reminds me more of Viv Stanshall, who got away with most things by being quietly bonkers. But I still like the spoken word nonsense as it captures something of the late 60s and binds the album together. 2.5/5

    Unfortunately though my opinion of this album, like a couple gone into in depth both here and on the Robyn Hitchcock thread, has gone down a notch. I hope at the end of this one I'm still able to listen to XTC. I won't be listening to Robyn again for about another year!

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