Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Let’s Have A Cack Celebration

This week sees the release of Depeche Mode’s one hundredth studio album, Sounds Of The Universe. Despite our disappointment with pretty much everything they’ve done since Ultra, we’ve just bought it. In preparation for the new offering, to rekindle our affection for Basildon’s finest noisesmiths we’ve spent much of the last week chasing down as many DM remix bootlegs as we can find.

As one might expect by their very definition – albums containing unofficial remixes compiled by people with no access to the original components of each track – they’re generally a mixed bunch, but there’s one thing many of them have in common: really bad cover art. With this in mind, we present to you -


This may seem a little harsh. After all, the intent behind each compilation was to collect together rare, exciting and exclusive cuts from the Dep’s back catalogue. “That may well be,” say we, “but a lot of these were sold through record shops and eBay, so a bit of care when it came to the artwork wouldn’t have gone amiss, now would it?”

“Oh yeah, and I suppose you can do better, bignose?” You may well be saying at this point. Well, taking about five minutes, including the time it took to load Photoshop and type a query into Google Images, we cobbled together the following:


Yep, rubbish. But hey, literally five minutes work. So, let’s see some designs worse than that one. With sarcastic comments as if we’re Mark fecking Farrow or someone*.

(*Mark Farrow is one of our favourite designers of album art and packaging, and not someone who routinely slags other people’s work off, like we’re about to. We should probably point that out. We could just have made a joke about us being the Piers Morgan of album art criticism, but that’d just make us look schtoopid after that previous update.)

6. Bloodlines


An image taken by typing “leaf” into Google Image Search. A Photoshop filter that dicks around with a few colours. A vaguely gothic freeware font. Thirty seconds work. Job done.

5. Only When I Lose Myself


So, you’ve got a folder full of freeware Photoshop filters. Why not try applying them all at once?

4. We Create A Monster


The band name is copy-pasted from the Ultra artwork, meaning this cover was designed some time since 1998. That just makes the background a little bit baffling, as it’s seemingly the result of the demo mode of some public domain artwork generator given away free on a coverdisk from CU Amiga circa 1993. Add on some clip-art and some Word Art from Microsoft Word 97, and you’ve got an album cover. Of sorts.

3. Apologize 4.0


Yeah, you probably ought to.

2. The Butterfly Effect


The image itself could have worked, but when it comes to the lettering… ach. We’ve just tried looking in our ‘fonts’ folder to try and find out the name of that horrid typeface, but come up short because – despite it being a Windows default – we’ve long deleted it. And to compound matters: it’s in pink. Look, if you’re going for ‘dark and moody’, steer clear of pink lettering in a rubbish font. Really. We’re not being needlessly sarcastic when we say that when it come down to this album cover, presumably it’s only a coin-toss that saved us from seeing Comic Sans here.

1. Sounds Of The Universe


Really, now this takes the biscuit. The typeface used for the album title and the ‘epeche ode’ part of the band name is quite nice, but just look at the rest of it! Let your kid sister have a play on MS Paint, did you!? Jeepers H Crackers. Of all the hamfisted stabs at putting together an album cover for your crappy bootleg mix of tracks you’ve copied from other Dep Mode bootleg albums, this is by far the… [checks iTunes ‘Now Playing’ window more closely] ah. Erm. Yeah.


2 .:

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see people still remember kerplunk!, eh?

-He who is too lazy to even do self promotion these days but has now taken up an attempt at witticism by methods such as this one. Or something.

Mark X said...

Actually, it *could* very well be a minimalist Eastern Bloc non-official Kerplunk rip-off box cover.


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