MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
I The Primitives: Galore (RCA) How past glories can reﬂect so dismally on the present. it's as well for The Primitives that the public memory is so short, because the merest whiff of anything approaching the pop calibre on their ﬁrst album Lovely would put this lustre-free collection‘s gas at a peep. Their current position is similar to that of Voice of the Beehive on their last album. Honey Lingers— repeating a previous world-beating songwriting formula. but this time minus the inspirational ﬂashes. Particularly disappointing when you notice that Tracey has never sounded sweeter. Galore leans heavily on material already released on preceding EPs. After this spun-out a hiatus. could they not even have come up with some quantity, never mind quality? (Fiona Shepherd)
I Pele: Fireworks (MCG) Following their chart success with ’Megalomania'. Liverpool‘s Pele have released their debut album, a wonderful piece of cheerful anger in straight-up acoustic style. With the exception of ‘Monkey Scream' — inspired by Wuthering Heights — all the tracks are a bizarre mix of happy rage. Pele attack a variety of subjects. including the aristocracy. Nazism. the police. career obsession. and obscure practices with cats. Unfortunately it‘s very hard to take them seriously with lines like ‘ﬂaying their skin off for lampshade tattoos' delivered in a homely vocal harmony. They‘ve been together for only eighteen months; a bit more experience and a dose of depression should sharpen them up no end. (Gavin Inglis)
I Lalbach: Kapital (Mute) Laibach‘s double-album grey vision of society. laced with whispers of Utopia, is a brilliantly-timed release, emerging as it does on to the streets of people still dazed at the prospect of ﬁve more Tory years. Current single. ‘Wirtschaft Ist Tot‘ (‘The Economy ls Dead‘) could have been written with a sinister smile.
Not the most accessible of music, this combines harsh, tortured fanfares with reﬂective ‘mood' passages, but there‘s always the feeling that something‘s crouching out there in the dark. watching through the wind and snow. More intriguing with each listen, Kapital will not pall quickly. if Laibaeh were a cult, they should be out recruiting right now. (Gavin lnglis)
Ah, the good old Cure. They’re not just there for the nasty things in life- although, upon checking the lyric sheet and finding that Robert Smith is still penning lines like ‘And just as I’m breaking free/She hangs herself in front of me’, you might disagree- and the nice things they have to offer are very nice indeed. Here, for instance, we have ‘Friday On My Mind’ and ‘High’, among the immediate, happy-go-lucky numbers; and we also have the slow, melancholy keyboard-based songs, which are almost as beguiling. It’s easy to imagine being seduced utterly by ‘LetterTo Elise’ and its
partners-in-gloom. It might take time, but at least I can see it happening.
Can’t say the same for ‘Wendy Time’, ‘Doing The Unstuck' or ‘Cut’ (the obligatory one with angry wah-wah lead guitar), or around an undistinguished third ol the tracks here. The BPl’s pet ‘altemative’ band know exactly what they're good at and have stuck to it, making ‘Wish’ a risk-free zone.
The band have all testitied how happy and democratic the sessions for ‘Wish' were. This doesn’t mean that they broke any new ground while they were in there. All it means is that they're better at being The Cure than they ever were belore - remember when that was a standard insult to hurl at pissy groups in raincoats? (Alastair Mabbott)
(IEZIIIIIIIII ! SOULHSOUL
Just Right: Volume lll (Ten Records) How many people must have reached for the cotton buds on the release of ‘Joy’. This piece of limp assembly-line ‘soul’ was perpetrated by the mighty Soul II Soul? Let a nation pause and clean its aural passages. But have
2 faith, as Jazzie B might intone. ‘Just
Right’ discloses some minor excuses to suspend the gallows. Mainly ‘Storm', an oceanic pulse supporting a bird-like flute, but also the cool, reggaeish swing oi ‘intelligence’, and ‘Move Me No Mountain’, the kind of jaunty popsicle that would rehabilitate Kym Sims in the eyes of the wardens oi
The litmus test is simple: it it’s got a
flute on it, it's charming, animated, feather-light ielicity. If there’s no ilute on it, it’s a fetid stench, for sure. However, Soul II Soul’s most heinous crime is not in skimping on the flutes, no indeed. It’s the hollow platitudes they persist in espousing, devaluing big terms like ‘liie’, ‘peace’, ‘generation' by turning them into buzzwords. At least techno Newspeak attacks modest targets. Who’s bothered by numbing exposure to ‘words’ like ‘yo!’ or ‘posse'? And without wishing to come overall nationalistic, Yo Yo Honey and Sugar Bullet could pull off this let’s-all-come-together- in-one-big-bubbling-melting-pot malarkey blindfolded and straitjacketed down a mineshait in Mongolia. (Fiona Shepherd)
Body Count (Sire) Brawny imagery of a gun-toting ‘Cop Killer’. Tawdry coitus fantasies with a
‘ Grand Wizard’s ‘KKK Bitch’. Bawdy
excuses for promiscuify centred on an ‘Evii Dick’ with a mind of its own. It’s too easy to sum-up these trenchant/ sad/hilarious (delete as appropriate) scenes as the end-product of ice-T’s latest attempts to shock into action. Yet if the motives are dubious and the messages garbled (which they are, but never totally), the medium is pure power.
Body Count are the voice of South Central LA as blared by a thrash metal band. in reinlng-in the commonality of anger and energy within metal and rap, Ice-T is extending his vocabulary and his constituency, opening up the fissures that thread America’s inner-city underside to young white suburbanites. Spurious issues of ‘authenticity' are irrelevant as Body Count slash and burn like the hardest of Caucasian long-hairs. Contentious issues of consciousness-raising are met head-on as Ice-T is never less than galvanising.
In both respects ‘Body Count’ hits hard, blasting down barriers of ignorance with a mixture of musical cross-fertilisation, pastiche, wit, fury and out-and-out conviction. ignore the oedipal bravado and gun-play-as-penls-extenslon frippery. Justiointhe roar. (Craig McLean)
34 The List 24 April — 7 May 1992