musw RECORD REVIEWS__
I World OiTwist: Duality Street (Circa) Fret not. music lovers. for in World OfTwist at last we have a northern band whose music lives up to their pre-appearance hype. Right from the off— the seriously snappy “Lose My Way' — this Sheffield/Manchester amalgam deliver the goods with a canny appliance of cool dance science. lfyou want a pigeonhoie, try a Happy Mondays/Jesus Jones hybrid. but World Of Twist ably transcend; i ‘Sons ofthe Stagc'. ‘Jellybaby‘ and the fabby i beat single that _ introduced them to the ‘ world. ‘The Storm'. stand i out marginally ona consistently impressive album. Occasionally. the oils-retro feel is so strong that you expect Thunderclap Newman to take over at the wheel. but that's not a bad thing either. A fine debut: nice not to be disappointed for a change. (Paul W. Hullah) I This Picture: A Violent Impression (Dedicated) ‘Naked Rain‘. reminds me of the bit in The Doors when Robbie Krieger comes up with ‘Light My Fire'. telling Morrison that to compete with the Lizard King‘s songs. he was having to use elemental imagery like ‘ﬁre. snakes ‘n‘ stuff‘. This Picture don't go overboard on the snakes ‘n‘ stuff. but Simon Bye, a passionate but level-headed vocalist. has a taste for the lofty lyric— l‘d prefer to think [didn‘t hear the line ‘Think oflife as an abstract pose'. The rest of the band sometimes rise to the challenge issued by Bye‘s voice with some impressive swells and atmospheric playing. but not enough to make this the album it could have been. (Alastair Mabbott) I St Etienne: Foxbase Alpha (Heavenly) This is Radio Etienne. the sound of acid jazz house dub. FoxbaseAlpha is Fab FM run riot. a station forthe underground nation pumping out the bass bin-blasting “Only Love Can Break Your Heart’. then cutting into some space cadet 50$ kid papping about sweeties and buses over a Procul Harum organ riff, then melting into the lazy insomnia of“Carnt Sleep‘, then . .. everything. Foxbase Alpha is kitsch and krazy. the Pet Shop Boys meeting John Barry in Honor Blackman‘s thigh-length boots down Carnaby Street. An album bubbling over with fecundities and oddities.
_ FATIMA MANSIONS
Bertie’s Brochures (Kitchenware/Radioactive)
He’s mad, is Cathal Coughlan. As lead cartoon caperist in Microdisney and Fatima Mansions’ in-house deranged piledriver, he veered and veers lrom maudiin country-rock balladeering to rant-a-minute bellowing. His T-sliirt proclaims ‘Keep Music Evil’ as his guiding credo, and on this new mini-LP Coughlan’s iebriie psyche bends sinister at every turn.
‘Bertie’s Brochures’ is already legend ior its tilt at ‘Shiny Happy People’. Even so, when its single-digit-aloit mayhem has careered to a halt, the shock is utter
and complete. This is psycho rock writ large and I for one am not a little scared.
‘Mario Vargas Yoni’ is similarly unnerving, talking oi ‘monkey shit brown hair rinse’ and other such abrasive platitudes. It’s polemical without the comical, and wholly jarring. As it to compensate, we get ‘Behind The Moon’ and the title track, rounded and lulsome ballads both. Likewise the cover oi Richard Thompson’s ‘The Great Valerio’. Rack this mannered melancholy against the deranged excesses elsewhere and the schizophrenic tendencies oi the Coughlan muse are thrown into sharp reliel. It’s this that makes ‘Bertie’s
Brochures’ disconcertineg endearing.
i it I
: Dates are the Starsky and Hutch oi AOR ‘
_ NEIL YOUNG & anzv
Eight or nine years ago, i decided that this Neil Young character was unlikely to interest me. He was, I believed, just a hippy ioIk singer who’d been in tune with the times ior a lew years in the 70s, and that only Deadhead-types took . seriously any more. The bizarre array oi musical personae that lollowed seemed to conlirm his waning
Then, I heard 1989’s ‘Freedom’. And the tribute album ‘The Bridge’, then, last year, the aptly named ‘Bagged Glory’ with Crazy Horse. Now there’s
i this, and already a thousand grunge
f stones. So many groups, lrom The
l bands are crawling back under their ;
Mission to most oi the Sub Pop roster, .
T would kill to sound this good. ‘Weld’ is .
3 with a line that can stop you in your
two hours’ worth oi loud and dirty rock— recorded live (it’s not speciiied where) and Ieit sounding raw and brilliant. Young is one oi the lew lyricists who can penetrate a dense wall oi guitars
tracks and then iollow it up with one that’s even better. He’s one oi the lew good lyricists, in tact, whose band actually still dabbles in rough and ready bar-band rock. You’ll look in vain ior an artist oi this vintage who still sounds as iresh and vital. ‘Ragged Glory‘, indeed, sums this album up. (Alastair Mabbott)
HALL AND DATES Looking Back (RCA)
; ‘The godiathers oi blue-eyed soul’, I RCA calls them, but us hep-cats know
the real story: Daryl Hall and John
' boogie-dance. The top-selling duo oi
all time celebrate twenty years in the biz with this classily presented (remastered by Mr Hall) collection - theirsecond ‘Best Oi’ LP, lollowlng, and bettering 1983’s part-overlapping set, ‘Rock‘n’Soul’.
Most oi the tracks are iamiliar (‘Maneater’, ‘Out 0i Touch’, ‘Rich Girl’, ‘I Can’t Go ForThat’), and even the ones that you don’t instantly recognise (‘Sara Smile’ and the Billy Joel-like ‘Kiss On My List’) have the listener-iriendly, pristine-but-Iived-in appeal wherein lies the enduring charm of the smoothsome twosome. Over the decades, the peroxided one and his moustachioed sidekick have diligently applied their considerable, innovative songwriting talents (listen to ‘Back Together Again’ then tell me Prince isn't inlluenced by them) around a sassy diversity oi styles and rhythms. You can knock it ior its squeaky naiiness all you like, but there’s some damn good tunes on board, and the Hall and Dates course looks set lair tor the 90s.
lt’s iunk with ilair, ieeIing and, lrequentIy, a dash oi wit. There are lew white men who can play a black man‘s music with such verve and unaiiected panache. Huggy Bear would be proud oi them. (Paul w. Hullah)
34 The List 8— 21 November 199]