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The Pop Idol EP


Look to the skies and you will see a subtle shift in the cosmos. Like the light of a supernova refracted in a smear of marmite the infinite mass of the universe is not black but brown, and we, the human race hurtling into this ever-expanding eternity of empty brown space are nothing if we are not sound. The collective Sound of humankind reverberating endlessly through the Brown.


As everyone knows, a starburst is what results from popping idols, and the Steve Brown Sound have been precipitating stellar downfalls for years in their own humble way. Three decades worth of human iconography left flapping in the breeze, they deflated the hot air balloons holding aloft such popular basket cases as U2, The Clash and The Beatles. If this was only true in a handful of low-rent living rooms across Budapest in the latter part of the nineties, then change is here with the release of the Pop Idol EP.


We're all pop idols these days, and life will never be the same again. If we thought that being pulled by the king of rock'n'roll had left us with something to think about then the constant exposure of winning pop idol is the new anxiety of the Brown Sound. Because getting dirty with Elvis was essentially a private act, but now we're there for all to see. And everyone should see. This EP explains why.


But what lies between this debut EP's title track and it's notorious closer, Obviously Elvis? Let us go straight to the middle, to Polythene Bag, which straddles this EP like a suffocating mistress of folly. It's had a lot of time to mature since it was first played in Grease all those Brown years ago, and, believe it or not, it actually has. Recorded at breakneck speed, the Brown Sound have created a template for how it ought to be done if they ever have the time or money. That said, this is more than a spunk and speeding demo to be fobbed off as a bonus CD in years to come.


A three-pronged fork of pop pierces the bubble that constitutes this EP. Nothing has yet been said about the viscous webbing, that residue of once delicious filth that takes one from tine to tine, and completes the five-digit fist of pop. It's the dirt that makes your best silverware look old, but the cutlery precedes the stain, and so we can say that the dirt of the new is older than that which came before it only in as much as it proves itself to be more grown up. That's what my Dad says anyway, but he's drunk a bottle of wine every night for the last quarter of a century, and is starting to get a little confused.


Steve Brown hasn't been drinking quite as long, but looks ready to stay the course, so when he says that Say My Name is the weakest of his own songs, it shouldn't be without noting that the ladies seem to love it. It is with I Don't Know What, however, that the Sound establish their super-abundance of sugar. No more shall they borrow honeyed cups from the next-door neighbours of rock history. And that's a good thing.

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