90s News: Snow is back, East 17 singer storms parliament, when 5ive become 3ree, Papa Roach


Your latest dose of ’90s news. Home taping is ruining the music industry.


East 17 have long been a political force to be reckoned with. On their debut album Walthamstow, they tackled the fallacy of equating financial wealth with personal wealth (“Gold, we don’t need it, do we?” – Gold); highlighted a need for organised activism (“Yeah, we gotta do sumpin” – We Gotta Do Something); and raised the importance of shared domestic roles, especially in the kitchen (“Yeah I’ll butter toast, if you lick the knife” – Deep). But never had a member of the popular boy group stormed parliament house until lead singer Brian Harvey turned up at 10 Downing Street with a ring-binder in hand, demanding to speak to the PM. The Daily Star quotes witnesses who claim he was ranting about having evidence the government had stolen money from him – clearly something the PM sees to in his day-to-day. He also apparently yelled, “You’ll all be dancing to my number one single at Christmas”, which is an exciting prospect.

The police, or “a right pair of bobbies, innit?” came to move Harvey along and possibly to get their ‘Paws On The Floor’ remix discs signed. The po-po told The Independent it was a “minor disturbance outside the gates. Officers spoke to a man there – there were no arrests.” Not to start a feud or anything Brian, but Noel Gallagher got past the gates. Nice to see Harvey is still rocking the high beanie, too.



Proof the line between The Stone Roses and East 17 is thinner than most realise


It’s the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded, the guy selling battered-pigeon-on-a-stick is nowhere to be seen, and Aaron Lewis is sitting in the dug-out: dejected. “Don’t worry, kid”, the coach says softly. He’d been around the block once or twice. “Even ol’ Lefty Grove had his off-days.” Lewis had no idea who Lefty Grove was, or why this old man was talking to him while he was trying to watch the game, but he felt a weight lifted. “Thanks, coach”, he beamed.

Aaron Lewis, lead singer from Staind, had earlier found himself being booed for reasons that had nothing at all to do with hit single ‘Been Awhile’, after fumbling the national anthem at game five of the World Series.

For his part, Lewis blamed nerves in an official (and wholly unnecessary) apology, although we’d gently remind him of his 15 million album sales, twenty years of live appearances in front of millions of people around the world, and the fact that nerves are simply a byproduct of feeling under-prepared: a direct result of his own failure to act, so he shouldn’t go blaming external factors for a state he had complete dominion over. Having said that, who would take on the job of singing the national anthem in front of millions of viewers who really care about the national anthem? He had to literally ask “for the nation’s forgiveness”, saying he was “completely torn up.”

And before you laugh at how badly he fucked up, here’s a video of Aaron Lewis cursing out a bunch of “fucking arseholes” for feeling up a teenage girl crowd-surfing – proving he is actually the man.

Staind, alongside Korn and Limp Bizkit, introduced a wave of purposely mis-spelled band names in the late ’90s, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since those swingin’ Monkees/Beatles/Byrds days.



They laughed at you back in the day when you got your Papa Roach tattoo, didn’t they? Well, you can dig out your old school diary, find all their phone numbers, type in the area code, then the 6 or so other numbers, ask their mum if they are home, then tell them you were right and they were wrong – because Papa Roach are still going, and still relevant, and the yellow ink has faded a bit, but that happens to all tattoos, and in fact here’s Papa Roach’s blistering new single which still sounds like the soundtrack to a Playstation 2 demo disc.

The song is called ‘Face Everything And Rise’, which means nothing and was therefore clearly chosen for its awesome acronym power. To further your case with the tattoo (are you still going on about that – you won, let it rest) they are heading out on a US co-headlining tour with Seether early next year, and even hitting Soundwave 2015.

Fun fact: their 1997 debut album contains tracks named ‘Peewagon’ and ‘iSEDuFuknDie’ – make sure you start the ‘PEEEEEEWAGON’ chat during their set.

Snow season is back

So, the success of ‘Rude’ by Magic! proves that it somehow still isn’t deemed racist as all fuck when a Canadian sings in a mock reggae accent over a mock reggae musical bed. Phew.

No doubt Snow – who invented this extremely specific genre back in 1993 with his huge hit ‘Informer’ – noticed someone using his one trick, and decided now’s the perfect time for a comeback.

Yes, Snow has a new single, called ‘Shame’ because irony is dead.

He really hammers home that this is, in fact, Snow by opening with the exact same opening line as ‘Informer’. If you’ve ever listened to Snow’s debut album 12 Inches Of Snow (triple entendre; Snow was operating on a different level back in ’93), you’ll be aware that it is the perfect study in how to stretch one lightning-in-a-bottle idea as thinly as possible.

L.V., who sang the hook on ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, did a similar thing: his debut album features songs named: ‘The G Within’, ‘Gangsta’s Boogie’, ‘Crazy Little G’s (Part 1)’, ‘Crazy Little G (Part 2)’, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ and ‘Gangsta’s Boogie (Projee version)’. Can you see the theme? (Hint: it’s not synergy). One would assume that Lou Bega’s album follows similar lines, but time is a finite resource and I’m yet to check.

On his album, Snow simply lifts the exact same rap cadence, tempo and melody – as heard in Informer – and uses it on every song. ‘Lonely Monday Morning’ literally contains the exactly same verses (lyrics, melody, everything) from ‘Informer’, and it was released as the third single.

There is an experiment where scientists severed the corpus callosum of a monkey – the bundle of fibers that facilitates communication between the two hemispheres of the brain – and it actually fought itself for a peanut. The two songs below are proof that a similar situation would occur if Snow ever had this operation and decided to sue himself for plagiarism.

While it’s easy to laugh at a white dude from Toronto singing in a mock reggae style about being locked up, ‘Informer’ actually became a hit while Snow was in prison for assault. He first saw the clip on television while in prison. Thug life.


5ive carrying on as 3ree

As previously reported in this column, Abz recently walked out on 5ive, flaming members Scott and Ritchie in the process. Member Jay became ‘previous member Jay’ a while ago, bringing the team’s number down to three. But the lads assure us they’ll keep going on, and that they’ll be following the path of previous trailblazers.

“We’ll do this forever”, Scott told OK!, brazenly ignoring the average human lifespan. “If people want to come and see us and they want to get up or get down, then we’ll do it. We’re like Take That aren’t we? We’re following in their tracks.”

Get up or get down. Props on dropping 5ive references in an interview, Scott.

Ritchie’s talking the power trio up too, saying, “We’ve done quite a few gigs as just the three of us and they’ve genuinely been some of the best gigs we’ve done.”

Other examples of bands/natural wonders blindly going on despite the numeric value in their name no longer applying: S Club 7, the twelve apostles, Baskin Robbins 31 flavors, and Sum 41, who bravely carried on after their 37-piece orchestra abruptly quit midway through the ‘Does This Look Infected’ tour.

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