Demon Days wasn’t the only release in store for Gorillaz’s Phase 2 – in November 2007 they dropped D-Sides, a collection of oddities and remixes from this era of the band –

kicking disc 1 off is 68 State. once this winds up into that sick synth groove this is great. outside of the psychadelic bridge, this reminds me a lot of the little Ratatat ive listened to, its good. People has a really fun rhythm and hook to it, this one makes ya dance a little, really fun. apparently this is an early draft of DARE, which i can def hear, but im glad they put this one out independently because this one’s fun in different ways, haha. Hongkongaton has a weird, rambly vibe to it, i like how it kinda stumbles around led by the little piano here, with the synth kinda laying out after it. We Are Happy Landfill is neat – its eclectic and bright and poppy, contrasting with the really dark mix on 2-D’s vocals and lyrics. this one’s fun – it feels like a carnival or a traveling salesman show. Hong Kong features a Chinese Zither for its beautiful strings. a very beautiful and contemplative song, this one’s really nice. Highway (Under Construction) has a really nice melody to it, but feels a little aimless… which i would expect from a track with “(Under Construction)” in its name, haha. that piano bridge is really fun though, and again i like the interplay of the piano and little bits of synths here. oooh right this is the record Rockit ended up in, love this track, enjoyed the music video a lot and i’m a fan here. feel kinda middling on Bill Murray – some fun grooves here but as a track its just okay. similar vibes on The Swagga. i like some of this, but on the whole not super vibing with the track. Murdoc Is God is amusing but just alright, imo. Spitting Out the Demons was the other track that REALLY gave me Ratatat vibes – heavy processed bass lines with a jammy guitar over it and some, good shit. thematically i like Don’t Get Lost In Heaven (Demo) right after Spitting Out the Demons, but i def prefer the finished track to this. Stop the Dams is a nice ending to Disc 1, and an alright track generally.

Disc 2 is all remixes, which generally i’m less enthused about. DFA remix of DARE does some fun things but also eliminates some of what i like about the original. the Stanton Warriors Remix of Feel Good Inc. is aight. i actually quite enjoy Jamie T’s Turn To Monsters Remix of Kids With Guns – its mostly a fresh track with some thematically appropriate lyrics and using KWG for the chorus. Soulwax Mix of DARE is okay. i had to look up the next two, since i remembered their singles from around this time, and it turns out this was just before i remember hearing these bands. the Hot Chip mix of Kids With Guns is aight but while this is a groove i really enjoy i think its a weaker remix of KWG than the previous one. not super impressed with the Metronomy Mix of El Mañana. im middling on the Junior Sanchez Mix of DARE. the Schtung Chinese New Year mix of Dirty Harry replaces the children’s choir with a Chinese children’s choir, swaps the Bootie Brown verse, and adds some additional instrumentation, for neat effect. closing out with the Quiet Village Mix of KWG, which i’m not into.

faves – 68 State, People, We Are Happy Landfill, Rockit, Spitting Out the Demons
dislikes –

yeah this was aight. i would actually be a big fan of this, were it just Disc 1 – i liked some of the bonus tracks on G-Sides, and i like it when bands pull back the curtain a little like this (Decemberists did several EPs, KGLW have Gumboot Soup and Oddments, LTJ have B is for B-Sides, all of which i have at minimum positive opinions of, for example), and the track selection on Disc 1 is very good, even if they lack a cohesive theme or grouping like i’d expect out of a traditional LP. unfortunately they do come stapled to a bunch of remixes – none of which i hate but very few of which i like and generally sour the package as a whole for me. it doesn’t help a ton that the first two remixes are 20 minutes together. i also feel like DARE and Kids With Guns get a weird treatment, as each track gets 3 remixes each and while its cool to see different takes on the tracks some of the mixes are just straight up weaker than a track i heard two songs ago, yknow?

on the whole, really interesting release, at least. catch Disc 1 for sure, but skip Disc 2 unless youre a die hard fan or really dig remixes.

D-Sides – 5/10

next up on the list: we’re heading to the Plastic Beach

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