I lnsplral Carpets: Revenge Di The Goldiish (Mute) Things are so much simpler now. The Beast Inside had epic aspirations. five-minute-plus songs. and prog rock gravitas. For all its lumbering colossus proportions it still worked. Revenge Of The Goldfish works too. but in that it represents the lnspirals snapping back into the frame with a brew ofurgcnt psychedelic freeze-frames lent focus by some serious rock manouevures. it hits the nail squarely and right away-ly. Advance warning was given ofthis by the three taster singles. and is rammed home by bloodrush album siblings like ’Bitches Brew‘ and ’A Little Disappeared‘. Moreover. Tom Hingley‘s vocals have a full-bodied might that somehow encapsulates the essence ofthis revivified lnspiral Carpets. (Craig McLean)

I Brian Eno: Nerve Net (Dpal/Wamer Bros) Our Bri scrapped the more song-based M y Squelehy Life for this slow-burning. mainly instrumental album. Now that the times are finally in tune with Eno‘s vision. perhaps he wanted to settle the score about who explored rhythmic ambience first. Of course. none ofthe tracks ever really goes anywhere. but on ‘Wire Shock‘ you might suspect that Bri is giving in toa moment ofwcakncss and whipping out every means at his disposal to stave off boredom. Helpfully, he places a lot ofadjectives on the inner sleeve. possibly to pre-empt reviewers. but missed out ’irritating‘ and ‘enthralling‘. both of which carry about equal weight in this case. (Alastair Mabbott)

l Plgiace: Fook (Devotion) The industrial music scene is incestuous by nature, and Pigface is the ultimate expression of that incestuousness, with no fewer than fifteen nightmare-mongers working on this, Pigface's third album. Among them are Fun and Lesley from Silverfish, Chris Connelly, Ogre from Skinny Puppy and PiL‘s Martin Atkins. As with most ’supergroups‘, Pigfaee can’t hope to be as big as the sum of its parts. However, Fook has memorable tracks (particularly the cello lament ‘Ten Ground And Down‘) and a welcome amount of variety, all cut with a serrated edge. One of the better industrial releases around. (Gavin



Us (Real World)

A skirl oi pipes and the clatter oi tribal drums begins Peter Gabriel’s tirst proper LP since ‘So’ (not counting the uncommerclal soundtrack ‘Passion’), picking up the musical threads of the twelve-year-old ‘Biko'. The suttering framed by this song (‘Please Talk To Me’), however, is Gabriel’s own. That and the following ‘Love To Be Loved’

set the tone: the singer has pulled the wraps off his own vulnerability, a subject he’s never ielt comiortable tackling belore.

; And he’s done a good job of staking

, out his territory. Apartirom ‘Steam’,

Sinead O’Connor, Daniel Lanols, Manu

the track that’s already being relerred to as ‘Sledgehammer ll’, and the rather disposable romp ‘Kiss That Frog’, ‘Us’ is low-key, tasteful and unrutlling. It’s sure to be required listening for many who wouldn’t be seen dead slouching out of a shop with a Phil Collins album, but sometimes it’s only Gabriel’s choice oi collaborators (which includes

Katche, Ayub Dgada and The Babacar Faye Drummers) which reminds you that it’s Peter Gabriel you’re listening to, not his erstwhile colleague. Apart lrom the exposure at Gabriel’s emotional nerve endings, ‘Us’ is a pretty sate album, which should at least help pay tor a iew more experimental cultural collisions in the . Real World series. (Alastair Mabbott) i


Automatic For The People (Warner Bros) ‘Automatic ForThe People’, already,

has a reputation as REM’s most tenebrous hour. Their pendulum

5 having swung to the commercial

heights with the global gregariousness at ‘Green’ and ‘Dut DiTime’, REM are back to the more inward-looking depth

. that was their intial calling card a

decade ago.

‘Automatic’ has a hidden, gently revealed glory. Even when they’re down, they’re up. Any preoccupation with iallibility and fatality is a bonding agent, binding the listenerto the moment and the record. ‘Everybody

- hurts sometimes, sometimes , everything is wrong,’ sings Michael Stipe on his most heartfelt vocal ever.

eddies, talks in measured tones.

: like a shadow, cellos adding a thick solemnity to what isthls album's

_ sreneo MCs


boast a confidence born of ‘Supematural”s success.

‘Automatic’ purls, flows in gentle

Sadness lollows ‘Sweetness Follows’

cornerstone. But then ‘lgonoreland’ has a menacing stalk, tearing strips oti the Republican decade. And on ‘The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite’, we even hear Stipe stilling a laugh as he sings ol candybars, ialllng stars and Dr Seuss.

Even when they’re down they’re up. ‘Automatic For The People’ has an aura oi unique and unlussed splendourthat both stirs and soothes. Such sweet sorrow. (Melanie Rowan)


Yes Please (Factory)

humpty humpers meet.’ Theiriourth studio album is a tropical cocktail oi Latin

Connected (4th & Broadway)

“Spiritual guidance advised,’ cautioned the sticker on the sleeve oi their Iastalbum. ‘Explicit concepts.’ Behind it, a riot of divine symbols spread over a garish superlly colour scheme. Dn ‘Supernatural’, Stereo MCs were groovy, laid-back and sprinkling out the new (daisy) age fairy

Fortheirthird album, the Stereos Robb’s vocals are as splendidly,

almost diliidently, unstressed as ever. Sometimes, as on the impulsive title

track and the jamming pop rolls oi ‘Step it Up’ and ‘Creation’, this contrast is a treat. The beats tread on relentlessly, unharried by ilashes of brass and slivers oi iunky sexiness. ‘Connected’ is both precise in its grooves, yet snugly assembled look, kids, real instruments! And where Rob is duuuude, the addition oi two soul-deep backing singers more than compensates when his vocals are just a bit too chilled.

It ‘Connected’ doesn’t connect 101 per cent, it’s when it lapses into the occasional dull, exhortative lyric or succumbs to moon/June-style couplets. Such are plastic rap-isms, and even Muhammad Ali would have blushed. But mostly, ‘Connected’ is a knock-out. (Craig McLean)

In need of a tlatus tube insertion and immediate catheterisation. Yes, on top of all his other ‘medical' problems, Shaun William Ryder is iull of wind and piss an’ all. This we’ve always known. Those seedy, sleekit ramblings, urchin mumbo-iumbo passed all as lyrics, have always been his lorte, it that’s the word, and were thereby pivotal to his band’s ratiish appeal. Oh ‘Yes Please’, the lyrics plumb new depths oi turbid, drug-addled nonsense. ‘Stay away irom the peppermint twist where the

sinuousity, slithery guitar chugging, space-cadet dance meanderings. Acting as producers-cum-nannies, Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth are undoubtedly responsible for salvaging ‘Yes Please’ lrom total chaos.

Arising from the wreckage are bizarre juts like the carnival exuberance of ‘Cut ’Em Loose Bruce’ and the hip lunk instrumental ‘Theme From Netto’. Equally etiective are ‘Total Ringo’ and ’Cowboy Dave’, more lamiliarly and slavisth Monday-ish. These are surprisingly coherent, especially given the lumpy contortlons that elsewhere abound. Impossible as it is to divorce these sounds from the mayhem and madness that accompanied their recording, ‘Yes Please’ still sounds hall-cocked (up). But only halt oi the time. (Craig McLean)

32 The List 9 22 October 1992