Edit: 30 listens later I disagree with myself, this is amazing. Probably one of their best singles to date, the production is really fresh, the lyrics are alright, and the vocals sound even better than Sarah did with their old endeavors. Also they look like some sort of jazz outfit on their new group photo, they look killer though lmao. Also I'm still a bit weirded out that Jamie doesn't have production credits on any of their Civilisation stuff yet he's on Bugsnax. Whatever.
One thing I gotta remark is that this sadly isn't amongst their strongest singles. It's still brilliant though, but I expected atmospheric death metal from their comeback to professional music after a hiatus of more than two fucking years.
Judging by their cover of Death Grips' I've Seen Footage, I'm guessing this was intended to be named "The Princess and The Glock", but that didn't go through due to obvious copyright issues with their fellow bri ish countryman 21 Savage. Also, the artwork on here reminds me of a lot of things, from Joanna Newsom to whatever one of Inglume's profile pictures was to Neutral Milk Hotel (yes curse my brainlet musical knowledge)
Also, the proposed Civilisation II cover is fucking trash, no offense.
The problem with this song is simply that the lyrical prowess of Time 'n' Place and Civilisation I aren't fulfilled here. Sure, the storytelling is potent and feels unintentionally about the Lockdown, not to mention that the hook lacks the go of a lot of their old ones, however, it's an absolute breeze to listen to unlike the rest of Civ 1 or TOTEP, hence the replay value skyrockets post the second listen.
So it seems like the indie rock gig they were playing has been murdered and instead they've switched back to their synthpop roots. That isn't a bad thing, but compared to Only Acting, Make Believe, Lipslap, or whatever, it isn't as good. But it's still fucking brilliant and I'm obviously biased towards this band so my crazy high score remains. Most of the tracks ranked higher or similar to this on the 2021 singles chart are triumphed by this thing in my view, and that's not a joke. Love Story is a cover, Bruuh Remix has paltry production, Track X is solid but boring, ok Hardline, and the songs below it are good though.
Yeah, you could tell I'm biased already, but who cares. Coming to the song itself, it was completely produced on vintage instruments, clearly not too old but definitely from a decade or two ago. Some quirks are appreciated; be it Gus' background vocals across the board for the first time in ages (Well, Jamie did the outro on If I'd Known), and it does reminisce their pre-Sarah work through the medium of that, but it's not just that, there are these little elements of sound on the final leg and near the 1 minute 50 seconds mark that has a tint of Civilisation 1, while the hook sounds stereotypically Bonito Generation in comparison. The vocal chops on the pre-chorus are full of charisma and soul and this is definitely a plus as well
The lyrical side on here isn't as deep as Time 'n' Place, but Jesus Christ it's relatable. The whole Princess/Clock story is a metaphor for anyone who felt trapped by this cut-throat world that nimbles down creative souls because they don't fit the mould. It's a solid sentiment, and for anyone who daydreams and is hyperactive, KKB has a long list of songs about something similar. It doesn't harken the same emotion as the mental health talk on Time 'n' Place, but it just about works. At the end of the day, it feels rather lighthearted and chilled-out, but one could obviously use more speech about the environment, world wars, and dead birds. The production also reminds me of "Picture This" and "Try Me" at places, maybe even their two covers (Heartbeat/Rock and Roll Star), and there's no guitar solo, instead, it's a good old synth solo and breakdown. It works.
All things taken into account, if I had to cut the professional reviewer guise I'm gonna tell you something, "bro Idk man i am so fucking hyped for this ep even though it's dropping right before my tests fuck them for that but whatever bro I can't wait for this owo omg lmao this is so poggers :Pogchamp: i am gonna fucking explode man cant wait to bump this in tha whip with my homies even though they call me gay for it, and i reply "so what"" "
Thank you weeb fucks for yet another banger!