Generation – Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music ‘Single of the Week’

Steve Lamacq has made Generation his Single of the Week, and will be playing the track each day on his BBC 6Music show. You can order now from the Optional Wallace shop. Steve also wrote the following about the song in his online blog:


4 November 2011 by Steve Lamacq

We don’t get in to watch ZULU WINTER. Instead I stand like a sap outside the door of an apparently rammed Camp Basement, until one of the security men starts getting fussy about his pavement and moves us on.

Across the road in the pub, where Arsenal are delicately wandering to a draw on at least three TV screens, we speculate on whether this will guarantee ZW inclusion in this year’s BBC Sound Of…Poll.

Has this upped the ante? Or are they, even now, blowing it big style in front of the east end guestlist massive? I hope not.

The more I listen to this Zulu Winter single the more I like it. Both sides. There is a gentleness of touch at work here, beneath the swooning vocals. ‘Let’s Go Back To Front’ is really sly; it’s sleek and effortless, but has a real drive to it, while ‘Never Leave’ is coyly ‘80s, almost Japan-like musically, with a ghostly David Sylvian-style presence.

Not even the realisation that they have form (they were once The Molotovs, who had a feisty mini-LP released by Fierce Panda) can dull the anticipation of what’s to come.

And that’s rare these days, as I’m sure the Pollsters will be thinking (actually they’re probably not, they’re too busy agonising over where the consensus of cool currently resides). There were more than 150 tipsters contributing to last year’s Sound Of… survey and the larger it gets the lower its common denominator becomes.

The operation is now so big that the voting forms were sent out a fortnight ago – amid mutterings from some quarters of the industry that it is becoming a curse (as a reminder the Top 5 from last year were: Jessie J, James Blake, The Vaccines, Jamie Woon and Claire McGuire).

Given the current state of play, I imagine this year’s list will be full of pop again (surrounded by a couple of female singers, a tortuous blog sensation and a cursory guitar band….and where’s the fun it that?).

Given half a chance I’d force anyone taking part this year to listen to the new OPTIONALWALLACE single before they go about buggering up music for another three months.

‘Generation’ is the song that says out loud, what a lot of people are thinking about pop these days. It doesn’t care. It stands on a table and berates its audience. It is almost embarrassingly trad-rock (or at least post Britpop) and thus – in these days of keyboard frippery – sounds brilliant.

It is old school but angry; cheaply poetic and agitated.

Listen to it.

And when they get to the lines “no revolution, no cause to fight, so just give up and let this slide/so plagiarise ‘cos after all, all that’s said has been said before,” turn on Radio 1 and shout out loud at it: THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

I thank you.

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