16
Aug 04

THE SQUARE TABLE 11 / Busted – “Thunderbirds Are Go!”

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POP FACTOR: 635 CONTROVERSY RATING: 183

The new Thunderbirds are not puppets any longer – and so who better to soundtrack their adventures than Busted… who… are also… not…. gnarrrrr. This record exists beyond all definitions or pretensions of ‘artistry’, it’s a three minute jingle and it doesn’t even make me want to see the film. The plainly disaffected Charlie Simpson should though take heart from Outkast, whose last work before their critic-slaying double CD was the similarly crass “Land Of A Million Drums”. If Andre 3000 can rap about Scooby Doo then you, Sir, can suck it up and jump about for Brains and Lady Penelope.

From that you might think I hate the song – or that I contrarily adore it. Neither, really. I don’t feel a thing listening to “Thunderbirds” – EXCEPT – Busted’s unerring ability to hit the accelerator at just the right moment to make you wish you could jump like them survives any commercial indignity. Damn it, boys, you win again. Hardly their best or funniest record but I can’t help smiling and bouncing: a fine, professional job done. 8 (Tom)

Few things more dizzyingly exciting than songs that sound faster than they are: this rattles past, breakneck, passing overhead in a sonic-boom rush and – BANG!- gone.

It’s all in the backbeat. The brass fanfare’s at the same 200bpm as the rest of the song, but parade-ground percussion holds it down with gravity and gravitas even as the clarion cornets stretch up ad astra. That was the original Thunderbirds, held down to martial tradition, old pomp and grandeur doing their best to smother the thrill of spaceships and rescue and action.

This is the new.

A guitarneck squeal, violins shooting off like fireworks, and that breathless off-beat batter bouncing your feet off the ground. Even Charlie Simpson’s voice, so languid and gravelly against the nasal whine and strained yelp of the others, can’t escape the urgency. The tune of the chorus hurries forward before the beat or even the words can catch up, the string section cruising at altitude in the background stratosphere.

It’s insistent, irresistable, when the bridge pits panting vocal against snaredrum snap; when guitar and bass hammer demandingly at a single chord like tantruming toddler fists; when the instruments and harmony drop away to make the title stand out more; when the violins twirl in their spiralling rise; when, after a scant two lines’ hush (don’t despair – they’ll be there), everything crashes back in and piles up on top of itself, struggling to be heard in the busy rush–

And then – BANG!- gone. 10 (Cis)

I saw the movie. It wasn’t very good. And yet when it finished, and the screen went black, no-one moved. There can be no greater demonstration of “Thunderbirds” status as a world-striding pop colossus. It is so good that I found out well over thirty Plasterers worked on Thunderbirds (the movie).

First time I heard it I was annoyed there was not more of the old Thunderbirds theme tune in it. But just the sting of orchestra at the beginning is all the homage needed. The theme tune is the theme tune of the film anyway, this just caps it off. The gags in the song are cheeky rather than pedestrian, and they do this with a surprising amount of meaning. If the film had been as good as this, it would have been my film of the year. Busted Jumps Are GO!!!! 9 (Pete)

OK. They have won me. I’m melting with the ELO-like string arrangement and verse structure.. And because I reckon the tune is not very memorable, I guess that after all I’m sold cheap. 7 (Diego Valladolid)

Replacing the theme tune feel wrong, but then again the film is strings-less so anything goes I guess. It’s not as cartoony-cute as ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ by FAB feat. MC Parker, but it’s still good. “Rhythm guitars- up”. The usual bouncy-ball style pogo-ing kicks in, tweaked a little by the addition of soaring strings. The sonics are unimportant- the song is galvanised by vocals (poised chummily between a UK and transatlantic twang) that are as playful as a kitten in a box. “You always look so cool when spaceships come out the pool. You know that you’d be such a fool to be a bad guy”. Spot on. 7 (Derek Walmsley)

Neat! Not my cup of mud, but one can only be so critical of a song that reminds one of little kids in Tough-Skin jeans riding Big Wheels through a makeshift moto-cross course. Exists somewhere between that horrible Spiderman song and Ray Parker Jr.’s great “Ghostbusters”. 6 (Henry Scollard)

The start reminds me how much I like the original theme tune, and it’s a shame they don’t really continue it much. Still, the choppy guitars suit this well enough, though the chorus seems a bit too smooth, not punchy enough to fit the rest. I feel as if I am being too picky, as this is so much better than a Thunderbirds theme song could have been, but I think it’s only okay, and the singing on the bit where the music drops out is very weak and flat. 6 (Martin Skidmore)

I’d offer nothing more than a cheap shot & say that Ash (or Metallica!) does this bombastic punk-pop-meets-Boston-Pops a sight better than these nasal chaps, but… Yes, I’m upset that they pull the old punk trick of starting a pro-forma 4/4 tune w/ an intro that promises some nuance (or, in this case, martial Bolero-esque bombast), just as much as the inevitable run down the guitar neck to bridge the gap between intro and gabba gabba hey brings forth tired sighs from my dead ass, but… And clearly my inner 12 year old is dead to the world, as the shout-outs to kicking ass and spaceships looking cool coming out of pools make me roll my eyes and shake my fist (oh, I’m a bad guy! that’s so not cool!), but…

Well, as the rockcritics.com blog put it, “([A]lmost any time you read a guilty pleasure piece, half of the piece tends to be about refuting the concept.),” so I’ll just be a hard grader and leave it at that. (And why the hell do I think they’re singing “ThunderCATS are go”?) 6 (David Raposa)

Bloody Thunderbirds! I hate them!

Let me explain, when I was very young I used to love the show. The angriest I remember being as a kid was when the BBC cancelled an episode of Thunderbirds to make way for a repaet of the royal wedding, grrrrrrr! Then, a few years later it was on again, the whole country was Thunderbirds mad, I settled down to watch it, and the sinking feeling of its awfulness overcame me, another childhood memory betrayed! Just so so bad.

Oh, the Busted song? It was written in about 5 minutes, contains a nod to Thin Lizzy and sounds like every other ‘Sted song, yet not quite as good. The curse of the Thunderbirds. 5.5 (Jel)

I dislike being manipulated by a song, especially when it’s done in a very base level. Swell the strings, cue the harmony, bring in the horns and keep playing those two chords over and over again, don’t forget the echo effects and the brief quiet moment just before the third chorus THEN bring the whole crew in at 11. Formula rewarmed. Didn’t Smashmouth do this same song for the Scooby Doo movie? Or Matthew Sweet for Josie and the Pussycats?

I imagine this is meant to have some sort of nostalgia value attached as well, but I’ve never seen an episode of the Thunderbirds. As it is, I’m just nostalgiac for when every pop-phenomena film didn’t require a poppity-punkity theme redux as de rigeur.

I can’t be too hard on this tho’; it does what it’s supposed to do, which is to make me want to go drink a Mountain Dew and go kick some ass with the T-Birds. It’s just rare that I’m in that kind of mood these days. 5 (Forksclovetofu)

This is good fun as standard summer pop fare, better if you don’t think of the television show, but then that is usually the case. 5 (Anthony Easton)

Somewhere there’s a great joke to be made about puppets, spacemen’s helmets and cock-rockets. But not here. 5 (alext)

I am sure those trumpets are the sign that these nubile – yes, i am hinting at the effeminacy of Busted – lads are ready for the charts once again. “Thunderbirds are go” is your regular Busted material: buzza-chugga geetars, squeaky clean helium voices, sugary Pop-Punk, singalong lyrics… It isn’t that I hate the way they made an adult-approved version of Buzzcocks mixed with Bros – what is a kid left to do when s/he’s over the latter and not ready yet for the former – it’s just that I don’t want to be reminded of the fact I am old. There I said it… I am too old for this fodder. 3 (Stevie Nixed)

Comments

  1. 1
    roli on 22 May 2007 #

    espero q te guste

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