Album: This Is the Day... This Is the Hour... This Is This!
Artist: Pop Will Eat Itself
Label: BMG Records (UK) Ltd
Summary: A self destructive culture, perfectly captured on vinyl.
Unlike most albums I review, full of experimental instrumental music,
this one is far more traditional in terms of song structure. The
tracks are mainly songs with lyrics that conform to the popular
verse/chorus style currently in fashion, making this album easily
Despite Pop Will Eat Itself's conformity to contemporary songwriting,
this album stands out amongst more popular artists' offerings because
of its unique style. It's almost hip-hop, except it's too catchy,
too upbeat and features too many guitar riffs and solos. On the
other hand, it's not quite rock, because it relies too heavily on
rap style singing, drum machines and, above all, samples. Instead,
it sits comfortably in the middle, taking advantage of the best
elements of each genre.
The main theme of the album is of a dystopian society not too far
from the consumer culture we already live in. Far from being
depressing, however, the songs sound surprisingly upbeat and catchy.
Although some of them briefly deal with subjects such as drug abuse,
America's inherently flawed two party system, and James Brown's
criminal record, songs such as Can U Dig It? and Def.Con.One should
get even the most depressed people dancing.
Above all else, Pop Will Eat Itself really were about popular culture
referencing itself. They arguably did that best in this album, via
not only the lyrics, but also the frankly phenomenal amount of samples
that surely must have been sneaked onto the album while the record
label bosses were looking the other way. In the end, this album not
only devours a large amount of pop culture, but also rightfully
claims its place in the same arena.
Recommended to anyone who likes hip-hop, guitar solos and Blade
Runner. It's worth it just to guess where all the samples are from.