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Gorillaz: ‘D-Sides’ (Album Review)

Crazy as a second Gorillaz B-sides album might sound, this rummage through the ‘Demon Days’ cutting room floor is totally justified. ‘We Are Happy Landfill’ veers between organ-driven ’70s rock and giddy punk rock on a jaw-clenching prozac high, while ‘The Rockit’ doffs a cheeky cap to Damon’s roots; with its deadpan delivery and taut, funky bass riff it sounds almost like an old Blockheads single… until the far-out synths that resemble bonking robots make their appearance, that is. But the highlight is ‘Hong Kong’ – the seven-minute epic recorded for War Child. Over a pulsating backing of acoustic guitars, pianos and a load of instruments whose arse you probably wouldn’t know from their elbow, Damon ponders “The rising of an eastern sun” and a DJ with “well conditioned hair”. It’s a reminder that he’s one of our finest-ever songwriters, whether hiding behind a dead-eyed anime avatar or not.
(Barry Nicolson)