RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I V ALBUMS
rely on force when
persuasion will work twice
as well. Oregon demand that their listeners be ready to work a little. but the rich layers of their music repay the effort many times over. Ralph Towner is now inclined to spend as much time on electric keyboards as guitar. but Paul McCandless is as subtle and brilliant as ever on reeds. while Glenn Moore and Trilok Gurtu make a nonsense of the conventional limitations of the rhythm section. ()ne to play and play and play. (Kenny Mathieson)
I The Lounge Lizards: Berlin 1991 (veraBra) I expected The Lounge Lizards to implode long before now. but it seems the opposite is true. This live set captures John Lurie's often uneven band as well as anything they have recorded. It is as rough-edged as usual. but Lurie is in fine. biting voice on soprano. and has an inventive crew around him. It can be hit and miss. but when they hit. they hit hard. ln sharp contrast. saxophonist Barbara Thompson takes few chances these days. She has been a doyenne of British jam-funk for longer than she probably cares to remember. and Breathless (veraBra) is more of the same from her slick Paraphernalia outfit. veraBra have also released Clarion Fracture Zone‘s Blue Shift. featuring Glaswegian saxophonist Tony Gorman. previously only available on Australian import. (Kenny Mathieson)
I Various Artists: Ghosts Of Oxford Street (RCA) The spirit of Christmas weird .
. Malcolm McLaren‘s festive spesh looks set to tread slightly rickety if this ‘Music from . . .‘ selection is anything to go on. What with Malc‘s seedy monologue on ‘Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two'. Sinead O'Connor‘s whispered and strangely sinister go at ‘Silent Night‘. and Rebel MC‘s crap ‘Rich Ah Getting Richer‘, the season of goodwill to all men begins to look a wee bit frosty.
That said. Happy Mondays regain the plot for a funking ‘Staying Alive‘. and The Pogues‘ ‘Fairytale Of New York‘ is as poetic asiusual. Rounded off by the classical sweep of ‘Dance Of The Hours“ (as performed by the Academy Of St Martin‘s In The Fields). the latter snatches are the edited highlights of a creaky. cheesey old B-movie. (Craig McLean)
I Gary Lucas: Skeleton At The Feast (Enemy) The phrase ‘Absolutely No Overdubs‘ is found adorning records that will doubtless have your chin scraping the carpet at their virtuosity. but as like as not. leave you feeling empty afterwards. Gary Lucas is a bit like that. As a former Beefheart guitarist. his professionalism is beyond question, but for all its eerie and explosive moments — achieved with the help of a series of echo devices — the first half of this album doesn‘t quite satisfy. The second half. while losing in immediacy. gives Lucas a purposeful framework (it‘s a self-composed soundtrack to the 1921 film The (iolem) and a sparring partner. keyboard player Walter Horn. Anyway. the curious should seek it out. (Alastair Mabbott)
'I The Bollweevils: Mouth (Decoy) Produced by a wide-awake Jim Beattie and Brian McNeill in Glasgow and kicked into play by a biting guitar part. ‘Mouth‘ is played by a band whose performance in the studio suggests they certainly won‘t need cattle-prods when they play live. A good old-fashioned rock-out. with big venues beckoning. (AM)
I Shonen Knile: Space Christmas (Seminal Twang) So. the pendulum swings again. and a band trotting out dodgy (but we|l~played) new wave riffs can be the ’hippest thing on six legs. It helps that they‘re sweet and giggly and Japanese. and we can let them off since it‘s a Christmas single. but the potential in this is. methinks. strictly limited. (AM) .
I Shut Up And Dance: The Green Man/Autobiography Of A Crack Head (Shut Up And Dance) The act that inspired the label return after an overlong absence with one healthy piece of plastic. ‘The Green Man‘ fuses a beautiful piece of classical music (unknown to this philistine) with the most ferocious and pulsating of beats. It‘s excellently backed with the chilling ‘Crack Head‘ — listen and quiver. (PO) I Apollo 440: Blackout
L(Beverb) Fresh from the
Coco And The Bean: Money
mysterious ways of U2. the Apollo crew look to the future and the blackout that beckons. With backbeat recorded live at Ayr Pavilion in September. it’s much more vocal than most hardcore as it balances into ambience — although with a constant 125 bpm. there‘s no threat of that. (P0)
I Ultra Magnetic MCs: Make It Happen (London) The UMCs are back to cause a whole lot of mayhem. From the forthcoming Fuck Your Head Up LP comes ‘Make It Happen‘. a dope piece of space funk which. with its booming kick drum and chant is destined to be big in the boxes. H-h-happening. (P0)
I Praga Khan: Free Your Body (Profile) The rap label go commercial with their whistles and arms in the air. Fast and furious ravesound which features the gothic looking (and singing) Jade 4 U. In the Oceanic mould. it‘s certain to be big in clubland. with the chances of it going Top Ten pretty high. (PO)
I Cicero: Love Is Everywhere (Spaghetti) Embarrassing. The first hint that something‘s wrong is the brief electronic bagpipe. The second is when Cicero gibbers in his best Edinburgh voice of the freedom he feels after splitting up with his girlfriend. Pet Shop Boys produced this typical PSB cack. and if you manage to endure it until the end. you‘ll find the obligatory Neil Tennant background vocals (by this time backed to the hilt with an electronic pipe band). I'd like to say nice try and better luck next time. but I‘d be a liar. (PO)
(Baghdad Radio) Funk is alive and kicking in Edinburgh — if this record is anything to go by. Clever bass and guitar riff samples mix with Dr Jive‘s real drums and Dravedian‘s Galliano- style rap. all topped off with female vox Avril seducing the eardrums with the prospect of filthy lucre. Not quite in the same league as Galliano or Humble Souls. but very. very promising. (P0)
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The List 20 December 1991 — 16January 1992 41