Monday, 1 October 2007



For me personally this was an insanely well-timed album. I don’t really think that this record was necessarily aimed at me or people like me (certainly my friends hated it) but when it came out in 2002 it represented changing times for me.

The actual first time I heard this record in full it was at a mystery house in Exeter. I was on tour with Hirameka Hi-Fi and Electro Group and after their show at the Cavern that night without a place to stay a punter called Andy offered to put us up. This was a mistake. God bless him, Andy seemed in awe of us and in a drunken state would not stop talking about it. It seemed he wanted to go into music management in the worst way but truly we were not the people to be asking. He had professional ambitions and a band called Loose Chippings that could play the entire first Strokes album.

Eventually alcohol consumption came coupled with drug consumption as the stand in Hirameka drummer remained passed out, face down on the floor of the living room. With a laptop and internet at our disposal Andy decided to show us some bestiality porn featuring a horse fucking a woman. It was at this point the Hirameka bass player began to freak out. It was eventually after many plays of this album by The Streets that he fucked off to bed around 4AM.

A few weeks later I was buying the album during one lunchtime and potentially buoyed on by this that evening I found myself being pulled by some scary girl at a nightclub called Route. These truly were times.

Even though we joked how Mike Skinner sounded like Steve Wright on “Has It Come To This?” the song was still strong enough to pull it off.

The first time I heard “Weak Become Heroes” it reminded me so much of “The First Big Weekend” by Arab Strap and this was the early money track, the one that perhaps mislead and caused me to think that there was something different or more to The Streets. Regardless of the aftermath and how I would later view Mike Skinner this was an amazing song, easily one of the best of the year as it pulled together a very tangible description of events on a night out that came with a very positive message at time when things in such environments were tense (as they still are).

As “Let’s Push Thing’s Forward” kicks in the album begins to get rolling as the rude boy soundtrack helps cater more tales of adventures in social commentary. Later large strings change the tune as “Same Old Thing” describes drunkenness and urban boredom.

“It’s Too Late” listened to now suggests the later crimes of “Dry Your Eyes” but done in a less cringeworthy manner. Part of this guy was always wet.

With “Don’t Mug Yourself” Skinner hit gold really pulling together the words in magnificent fashion snagging both the lad and the urban dollar in the process. This was his battle of the sexes, a war that he was evidently losing. This was the track everyone liked.

Eventually “The Irony Of It All” arrives as the comedy track displaying Mr Skinner’s smartness. There was always a huge dose of smugness attached to proceedings here as the song switches from the lairy thug probably listening to this record to the Playstation playing stoner seemingly soundtracked by Sgt Pepper. Personally I always thought both characters sounded like proper cunts.

From here we arrive at track eleven “Weak Become Heroes” and the prize track and event that the whole record has been building to. Still now it fills me with a pleasure and glow as Skinner’s lyricism peaks early in his career with damn near perfection.

Ultimately you feel that Skinner considers himself somewhat more enlightened that he actually is/was but as documentation of the weekends of our youth and the monkey shines that come with this is generally a blast. The guy is almost two years younger than me for fucks sake.

Completing the package is impressive cover artwork displaying the glowing neon beauty of modern urban decay and the living standards that modern life has reduced us to. We’ll soldier on.

Thesaurus moment: tackle.

The Streets
Locked On
679 Recordings

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