DEMPSEY — “ODB on the run”

OK, so this is a novelty single. While Russell Tyrone Jones languishes in chokey the smart-arse undie-ground are partying up a storm on the back of another tragi-comic hip-hop legend in process. Like the recent Fog material, this is post-Beck slacker-hop: sirens wail for backing vocals, an acoustic guitar and garbage-can drums clatter away on top, and dubious homage is paid to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s short-lived refuge from the lawmen. Like all good novelty singles, this is a curiously satisfying, and eminently catchy song.

But like all sugar-saturated confectionary it leaves you with a headache. As a career launch-pad record for Californian Geoff McIntire this seems like a cheap piggy-back ride on the notoriety of another. As a ‘tribute’, the record continues the pop-mythologisation of yet another anecdote for an NME fifty most bang-to-right musicmakers article or similar. Yet the ghastly self-parody that was ODB approaching police officers in a burger joint carpark to offer them an autograph haunts this single in its turn. As ODB consumed Russell Jones, so in turn Jones’ immolation consumes McIntire’s work. For just as we depend on myth to make sense of the world, so myth depends on our celebration and re-elaboration to survive. And as myth is inseparable from catastrophe, so a novelty single is the only way to stave off the acknowledgement of our complicity in what became of Jones.