On a night not too long ago insomnia had replaced my better judgment and I was up at three in the morning browsing the Forced Listening thread on musicianforums. I came across a post by a user named NachoChez and the song he reccomended was "sick" by a band with one of the funniest/Godawful names I've ever seen. They're known simply as Sneaker Pimps
. While downloading the song I was a bit skeptical. I had never heard of them before and didn't know what to expect as the name really didn't imply much about their style except that it might be rap. To put how that song affected me into four simple words: I was blown away. The mix of hip-hop beats, simple guitar riffs, techno/trance traces and pop-ish vocals with some of the coolest/catchiest lyrics I've heard was not only intriguing but refreshing as well. I must've listened to that song ten times before I found out what album it was on and decided to download it. The album was called Bloodsport
and it's a must have for anyone who enjoys just sittin' back and bobbin' their head to some sweet beats. I've listened to it many times and will hopefully convince you to give it a shot.
This song starts out with a distorted bass line and vocals by Corner that put you right into that dance mood. Once the drums come in with a female back up vocalist (unknown to me) you really start to get a feel for what Sneaker pimps are all about. The word usage in this song combined with it's almost robotic melody just makes you want to get up and do the robot. The chorus just brings you deeper into that feeling of techno as Corner sings "Kiro TV, They've got visions again like it's oxygen." This song will always put you in that nod-your-head mood and it's one of the best on the album. Sexymuffin's Grade:
The song that got me into this band is another highlight of the album. It starts with an acousic guitar progression which is soon joined by drums. This song really shows their hip-hop influence with its chill vibe and almost spoken verses. I'm not sure but I think the song has something to do with modeling with lyrics like "Learn to let myself loose and be the dummy in your snapshots." The choruse comes in and you get a really good sense of Corner's voice as he enters and exits falcetto seamlessly (This chorus will get stuck in your head like a nail so be careful with it). This is the type of song you'd imagine being played by highschoolers in their convertibles on the way to a happinin' beach party. It's fun and very good. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Small Town Witch
This song starts with a synth intro and Corner's delay soaked wispers panning between speakers. A haunting drum beat enters and you can tell that this one is not going to be like the past two songs. A distorted bass comes in and vocals follow that remind me of one of those jazz singers with a glass of red wine and a cigarette in their hand. Some really good lyrical imagery in this song like "Stepping it out with a size twelve mmouth and cursing you." The chorus follows the structure of the last song; repeat a phrase for the duration of the chorus. This song gives off a more melancholy mood but still allows you to nod your head to it. Sexymuffin's Grade:
The depressed feeling only grows with this song. It opens with a beautiful acoustic guitar line layered with harmonics and Corner sings in a dark tone. No drums come in until the chorus (probably my favorite chorus of the albume) and Corner's lyric style shines here. "If looks could kill, wouldn't need all the pills but I take what it needs to be easy" Sad song with lyrics to match, but beautiful nontheless. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Loretta Young Silks
Blacksheep carries directly into this song which starts with an alternating metronome beat. Enter a bass/synth riff that just makes you want to float away. The drums drop out for the chorus as Corner sings about "trying to break you click-track heart" Then the chorus comes and it's absoulutely breathtaking. The combination of Corner's vocals and a back up female singer gives the chorus everything it needs to be powerful and memorable. The mood this song gives is one that's more hopeful but not exactly happy. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Probably my least favorite song on the album, it starts with a single synth chord and then acoustic guitar enters. The verse is good with some good female accompaniment and harmonies. The chorus is what gets me. It repeats "M'Aidez" several times to the point of annoyance and feels uninspired compared to the rest of the album. This song is definately a song I could sleep to, which may be a good or bad thing. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Probably one of my favorite intros in a song, it starts with Corner singing "I've got the fuel in my head" and an ambient cacaphony begins underneath him as he establishes a melody for the song and tempo. I could see this song being used in the Matrix somewhere (or at least the music for it) as it really gives you that 'cool' vibe that makes you feel like the big cheese when you're walking downtown with your headphones blasting. The chorus is a perfect fit for the song and makes you want to sing along with sunglasses on. Great song for feeling on top of the world. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Oh how I love this song. This is definately the most techno song on the album and does not dissapoint. The drum beat is so simple yet it''ll get your appreciation when it's making your head pulsate. Corner sings/wispers the verse in this one about being a kid again and then the chorus comes in stating that his mother never told him that "love is just a bloodsport." The mood is that of rave/trance music. You'll feel like your in the clubs poppin' E with the rest of the clubbers. Brilliant, catchy and extremely fum to get jiggy with. This is a title track that will not dissapoint. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Starts with a clean guitar line and then transitions into vocals and a very familiar sounding bassline. Some cool lyrics in this one too "You ask me how to cure your headache, use a gun." The chorus leaves something to be desired and the song loses it's appeal because of it. The overall mood of this song is cynical and fairly pessimestic. Definately not my favorite song on the album. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Starts with a cool bass line and a sample of monotonous chanting. This song has Corner singing the verses a bit like "sick" but with less atitude and a raspier timbre. One of my favorite lines is in here "Bruises on a solarplex, baby faced and biting lips" The chorus has got to be the definition of "hip", Corner manages to use limited range but still give it a sense of "what are you gonna do about it"" A solid song and badass to boot. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Everything that begins must end, and this album is no exception. This song starts off with a hypnotic humming and is joined by droning bass and a slow drum beat. Corner's vocals are absolutely perfect for the mood of this song. The chorus uses another female singer as the lead vocals singing lines such as "you gave less than you tried to posess" and afterwards opens into a guitar solo that reminds me of The Mars Volta in its effect driven structure. I love this song as it's very unlike the rest of the ablum because it's very slow and has almost no techno feeling to it at all. A great ending for an excellent album. Sexymuffin's Grade:
Overall, I beleive this album is a must have for anyone interested in new music or anyone who can appreciate music in general. It's easy access and has enough depth to keep even the most finiky music fan interested. I give this album a 4/5 as it only has a few flaws and is a solid listen overall.
I hope this helped.
Chris Corner (guitar, syth, vocalz)
Liam Howe (syth)
Joe Wilson (bass)
David Westlake (drums, sampling)