It seems only a while ago the animated quartet known as Gorillaz was storming the world with their album ‘Demon Days‘, with such irritatingly popular songs as ‘Feel Good Inc‘ and ‘Dare‘. Gorillaz were, and are indeed now, one of the world’s most popular and very nearly only animated bands. With a large degree of hits under their belt with a confusing array of genre hopping, it’s a little wonder people are going mad with their return.
Gorillaz, for all who are unaware, are helmed by Jamie Hewlett of Tank Girl and Damon Albarn of Blur. However, Gorillaz as we know them are in fact run by four cartoon characters.
Murdoc Niccals, foul smelling egocentric bass player with green skin, a broken nose and a penchant for insanity and violence. Stuart ‘2D’ Pott (formerly Tusspot), idiotic but well meaning blue haired eight ball fractured beanpole vocalist. Noodle (Just Noodle), teenaged Japanese killing machine shrouded in mystery with a knack for guitar and Russel Hobbs, a mountain of possessed drummer.
As the world’s biggest animated band, Gorillaz who formed in 1998, have since sold 12 million copies over two albums Gorillaz (2000) and Demon Days (2005). They have hit the number 1 spot in more than a dozen countries and picked up awards including Grammys, Novellos, VMAs and EMAs. Since then even the 2006 Apollo has shown that these characters have near enough disappeared from the map. Most people have forgotten their very existence and waters seemed calm and pretty empty… Now, it seems the water’s beginning to ripple as Plastic Beach, the band’s latest animation/music foray, sails into the airwaves. Why and indeed how has the return taken place? Murdoc Niccals, through his Twitter account, has given a few insights, it seems:
“Tedious. 2010 being stuffed with Jordan’s knockers, her orange-skinned entourage and other baboons squabbling. Thought that was last year.” he frankly, but perhaps rightfully, stated.
Truth be told, we’ve only heard from Murdoc Niccals upon the matter of his monkey-based helm’s return, and even he doesn’t seem so sure. Today he in fact made use of a pirate radio station to take over NME and Yahoo’s stations to give us a little info, assisted by several crates of rum and several old CDs (including Plastic Beach itself, which he misplaced at the time.)
Starting off to a rough start with shouts of ‘OH CHRIST!‘ and ‘HELLO WORLD!‘ he went on to state he was at a ‘New Stinking Palace of Sin’ in ‘The Middle of Nowhere’. And now…’I’M BAAAAACK!‘
According to the Egoistical stinker from Stoke, they’re now living on an island of Plastic, pieces of humanity, and basic junk called Plastic Beach. Complete with a Lighthouse radio station (much to the bassist’s excitement), a carnival and a Submarine. The original Gorillaz animated studio has been torched, Kong Studios now being no more (the new studio can be seen on the album cover)… Point Nemo FM’s (48 degrees south, 123 degrees west) broadcast has given us a ‘full’ catch up.
He had to split – heat got too heavy, according to him. Grabbing the cash and the copters, he made his way out of there. After demanding we listened to Kirk (Douglas), and letting out some feelings upon how ‘alone’ he was, along with a summarisation of ‘THE HEEEAAAAT‘, he continued to give us a summary.
Apparently, he was selling a gang of Somalian Pirates some ‘big bombs’ in an effort to make some extra funds. After this plan ended as a failure due to the fact they didn’t work, they came looking for our hero in their jets and copters. He gave them some guns to keep them quiet and ran off to this island.
‘Just me…and a thousand crates of rum…‘
He was going to play us some brand new Gorillaz tracks but decided to debate with himself about a track he had originally dubbed ‘Stinkfish‘. The song is now ‘Quarg‘ which he decided upon the end of the show. What a tease.
‘So, my little listeners…I don’t even think there are any listeners…‘
The vocalist, 2D, has been kidnapped by the bassist and is apparently stuck in a glass room underwater, being guarded by a large whale. No word from Russel or Noodle, who is now nineteen. Murdoc is wondering whether Noodle is ‘no more’, continuing from their iconic ‘El Manana’ video, in which she’s shot at by helicopters and eventually bombed. She was meant to parachute off, but no confirmation on whether she did is seemingly present to him. It’s worth noting these copters were the aforementioned pirates. It seems the part of Noodle is being played by an android made of scrap metal, with a remarkable likeness to the girl (although it’s ‘not the same, really…’).
So, much to everybody’s surprise, Murdoc is doing this album by himself. And 2D held at gunpoint to sing. He’s also brought in such guests as Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg and previous collaborators De La Soul.
The marketing of the new album has brought everything into a very odd angle. The Gorillaz website, www.gorillaz.com, now has a countdown, a map showing the travels of our island and several promo videos, the majority of which – rather excitingly – are in a new animation technique to the band – claymation.
Murdoc Niccals is helming the lot, taking over NME and Yahoo’s radio stations with more on his ever-growing hit list. NME is seemingly getting the most coverage but it appears that Q magazine is due to have a tell-all feature upon the upcoming album next month. Much to Murdoc’s excitement, he twittered upon the 20th of January 2010:
“A leak! A leak! Plastic Beach has sprung a leak! One of those Russian pirates has put a bullet hole in my island! My single’s leaked! STYLO!”
As a result the official website has made it available for listening. The track, largely electronic and perhaps even rather haunting, features Mos Def and Bobby Womack, and has been stated to be Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record in the World.
Stylo shall be available for download on January the 26th. Plastic Beach shall be released by Parlophone on the 8th of March, 2010. The album is produced by Gorillaz themselves. Murdoc apparently plans to take over NME’s radio yet again within the next week as excitement peaks amongst fans of what is now seemingly a solo act of a slightly sozzled bass-player.
Article by Jordan Mooney