Tracey Pepper has a gas with That Petrol Emotion while Kenny Mathieson talks to composer Krzystof Penderecki. And Horse, Lush and Hamish Moore.
LISTINGS: ROCK 33 JAZZ 36 FOLK 38 CLASSICAL 39
Tracey Pepper discovers the t burning need behind That Petrol Emotion‘s new album and tour.
Not a peep from the Irish-born. London-lmsed That Petrol Emotion in nearly a year and suddenly they‘re back with some of their most melodic. confident material to date and. not surprisingly. their most accessible. Lead vocalist/crazy dancer Yank. Steve Mack agrees: ‘lt‘s the pinnacle ofour career. really. It‘s the first album where we‘ve managed to focus all our energies into a cohesive whole.‘
The songs of which we speak are from the forthcoming album Chemierazy (produced by Scott Litt. best known for his work with REM) including the teaser single ‘Abandon‘: a hypnotic. seductive guitar affair that leads the way for the chugging strength ofthe LP‘s other tracks. Ifyou‘re sick to death of ‘guitar bands‘. don‘t worry. That Petrol Emotion give new definition to the maligned term. Not janeg guitars or feedback city. but brash. spunky. edgy and IN YOUR FACE. That Petrol Emotion
always manage to sound like something special.
The band have released three albums: Manic Pop Thrill. Babble and 1988‘s uneven but compelling End oft/1e Millennium l’s‘ye/zos‘is‘ Blues. ()n that record they dipped a foot into the murky waters ofdance music. including hip-house on ‘Groove Check‘ and wah-wah funk on ‘Tension‘. and seem to have come up gasping for air. By rights. C/remierazy should be sitting right alongside records by other guitar groups gone dance-mad (hello. Mondays and Roses) that is. ifTPE had followed the natural progression of Millennium. Haven‘t they heard ofManchester‘.’ What happened?
‘I think we‘re still leaning that way on tracks like “Abandon” and “Blue to Black".‘ Steve says. ‘But the dance quality didn‘t come across as well on record as live. And every album we‘ve done has been more or less a reaction to the previous one. We were so into our sequencer on
the last LP. that on this one we wanted to get back
to guitars. But that doesn‘t discount the possiblity of going straight back into dance on the next LP‘. What does he think of the Manchester guitar bands re-mixing their songs to capture the club crowd? ‘I think it‘s fantastic.‘ he says. ‘Thoughl must admit that I was a bit miffed because we were slagged off 18 months ago for going in that direction. and now the music papers can‘t get enough of the Ilappy Mondays etc. But this is no slag to the bands themselves. because they‘re just like us in that they‘ve been going for years. We
share common ground.
‘I‘m glad people are allowing this stuff in and that indie fans are starting to dance again. I think it‘s really good that white groups are expanding and getting more rhythmic.‘
The songs on (‘hemierazy are definitely danceable but with nary a drum programme in sight. TPE have finally found an inner groove. a natural one. It‘s also noticeably more optimistic. both lyrically and musically. than their earlier LPs; especially the poppy. Beatlesque ‘Sensitize‘. ‘There was a lot of internal tension within the band when we were recording the last album. because ofSean (founding member) leaving. Millennium just bleeds offthe turntable. So on this record. we had just finished a brilliant tour of the States. got a new bass player and a new lease of life. and just wanted to put out a record that said “fuckinggrear to be alive!" And even though there's still a lot ofinjustice in the world. you‘ve got to attack it with a positive mental attitude. “Sensitize” is just about l‘uckin‘ being
happy. you know?‘
.N. ‘ y“; :1 ' .‘ daft]? ...d g ' I WANNA IE ON THE It‘s worth remembering that RADIO? Well. why not. Alan's show Is very catholic
In what It plays (rock, rap. RG8. country. house and
when DJ Alan Campbell Is otterlng readers the chance
to be a DJ end Introduce most other things you could three records at their choice name). so there are no strict on his Radio Forth RPM barriers to what you can show on Sundays between choose. Entries to: The 7-10pm on 97.3FM. What Duke. Radio Forth RPM, P0 you have to do to take Box 4000. Edinburgh. advantage oi this I THE INDIAN GIVERS have once-in-a-liletime otter is been dropped by Virgin
to list the three tracks you Records- perhaps
would most like to play on surprisingly. asthelr
his show and. iustas lmportantly. say why. The successtul applicant. as they say. will get to introduce said discs. and probably cue them up and wear headphones and all these remarkably dlttlcult things that the pros cerryott with such aplomb. Those at a nervous disposition can pie-record their segment.
original eight-album deal was supposedly Intended to give them two orthree years to develop beiore any hits were expected. But a purge Is a purge. With material already recorded tor the planned second album. the leers announce that despite the ‘hlccup‘ they'll soon be ‘ilrlng on all cylinders’ once more.
I ONE OF TNOSE ominous. tersely-worded statements appeared on our doorstep. this time to announce the ‘early retirement' at Glasgow ska kings Capone and The Bullets. due to the old musical and personal dlilerences. When they split. they were on thelrway to being one at the top ska bands in the country. They would like to thank everyone who supported them overthe lasttour years.
I BUT ALL IS NOT GLOOM and despondency. Edinburgh‘s Liberties have signed to Chrysalis, the same label as their manager‘s other group. The Proclaimers. The move has been In the alrtorsome time, but It took awhile. seemingly. to getan agreementthet was to everybody's llklng. Not ones to waste time. The Liberties have 18 songs ready iorslapplng on to tape, which they will start
doing In mid-March atan undecided Scottish studio. with a single to lollowln May. There‘s also talk ole kd lang support slot. ltshe gets any Scottish dates sonedout
I DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING you see hanging above the counter in record shops. In this case. RAT Records In Glasgow, where we spied the latest release from noisesome upstarts The
Stretcheads. whose songs have been known to resemble a lorry lull oi lrlghtened puppies smashing head-on into a concrete bridge. Noting that the only lorrn available was a 3th CD. when even vinyl seems too genteel a medium for such a group. we enquired Iurther. And lo. we were lntormed: ‘Oh, it’s a bit oia prankreally. There‘s no such record.’ There should be another Stretcheads single in
mid-April. apparently. when a tourwlth The Lunachlcks ise distinct possibility. but we haven’t ascertained It It will be available in all iormats tor the discriminating 32-car pile-up lovers everywhere.
I BLACK SPRING PRESS have announced they're iollowlng up their Nick Cave opus ‘The Ass Looked at the Angel‘ with another outpouring by a literary rock luminary- It Only Looks As It It Hurts”. the collected lyrics at Howard Devoto. Now. we here at the Listen! desk were well smitten by the verbal dexterity otthe dome-headed one the first time we heard him Intone ‘l'da been a Raskolnlkov. but Mother Nature ripped me oil'. but a straw poll has convinced us thattha number of people actively seeking a booktul olsuch gems is roughly equivalent to the number otCD-owners who would be lntothe Stretcheads.
The List 9— 22 March 199027