nus": RECORD REVIEWS“
l v SINGLES
! Thislssue,AlastalrlAabbott ; reviewsthesingles.
High hopes dashed by a clutch of Scottish singles, I mostly driven into the market place by blind 3 faith, hunger and I desperation ratherthan ,1 creative fire. The first two hail from i the States, but appear on i Falkirk label a&r/ENT. ‘ Art-rockers MX-Bﬂ get all - nagging and grungcy on ‘Have Another Drink’. whose sarcastic insistence ’ is only a touch less catchy than accordion-toting labelmate Angel Corpus
Christl‘s accessible, streetwise ‘Pull Girl’.
Back to the land of Shortcake tins, and ; Perspex White Out’s run-of-the-mill
‘Triplealbum’ I (Imaginary), another stab ' at the melodic grunge market which has just about been bled white. The ﬁnal, Beatlesy track makes an impression, which puts it above Rmmud’s ‘Was Away‘ (Alva). Riverhead’s ongoing REM obsession means that there are no surprises here, but at least it’s only 25p.
It might not have been the wisest move for Better Ways to kick offtheir recording career with ‘Standing In The Middle‘ (Luna), mainly because of the comparisons it will have to face with ‘Take Me To The River’. It’s a fairly pleasant way to kill a few minutes, but by the end the band are no closer to finding their own niche.
Daniel from Better Ways’ voice sometimes slips into a balladeering Bono tone, and the curse of U2 shows up in The L081 Soul Band‘s messy, chest-beating ‘Trash Scene‘ (Silvertone) too, speciﬁcally its ‘Everybody 's got to pay the Man’ rap, so reminiscent of Bono’s awful pseudo-Yank speeches. But it‘s in keeping with the guiding aesthetic of ‘Trash Scene‘ — a Celtic garage R&B hotch-potch of slide guitar, a few Hendrixy 7-sharp-9s, the riff from ‘Stepping Stone’, all thrown against the wall in the hope that some will stick.
The Prallnes‘ ‘Pronounced “Prayleens’” EP (Alva) has a bit more of a bite to it and Tat‘lB’s cassette single ‘Shoulda Been Me‘ (Make Up) is a non-bombastic relief. The angry guitar sounds a little out of place in this swish soul- and house-inﬂuenced thang, but it’s the song that’s stayed with me the longest out of this sorry bunch.
I i l
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32 The List 20 November— 3 December 1993
Back In Denim (Boy‘s Own)
Name? Lawrence. Past? Svelte In Felt. Ten albums In ten years. ‘Ballad 0i The Band‘, ‘Prlmltlve Palnters‘, the llrst side at ‘The Pictorial Jackson Revlew’. Present? ‘Back In Denim'. With venom, spitting disdain lor the 80s, exhumlng the much-maligned corpse oi the 70s, excoriating a pantheon ol R'n‘R heroes lrom the 603.
Ah, the 70s. You gots to enter the spirit to tree the spirit, so “Back In Denim‘. the title track, is great. It starts with an earthquake, the BOOM-BOOM-CHA drums ol ‘We Will Rock You’, continues In similar rumbustlous lashlon with ‘I’m Back’ chants aplenty. Ably propped up by
lonner members at The Glitter Band, Lawrence is In llery demagoglc lorm.
But then you get a whole album of such breast-beating stull. Homilies to bomberiackets, Chicory Tip, assorted glam rockers, the trash aesthetic, ol debunking and debagging all yerlave 60s and 80s myths, legends and homes. Yeah, sure, It’s all very amusing on lirst listen, and all the drop-in, cap-dolled musical relerences are oh so clever, but the mere evocation lrankly ain’t enough. In the inane accessibility oi ‘Roadrunner’ and ‘We Will Rock You’, greatness lay. But ‘Back In Denim’. lor all its uncool cool, laded irom my musical collective taster than the trend tor bri-nylon shirts. It aims to be disposable, while its protlered icons live on, and that’s gotta be a lalse start. (Calvin Bush)
_ NEIL YOUNG
Harvest Moon (Reprise) ‘Can we get It together, can we still stand side by side, can we make It last, like a musical rlde?‘ Riding the rollercoaster ol musical expression and critical contemplation, llell Young returns to the Iodestar at a generation that was ‘llarvest'. Country rock, solty rock, eleglac, maudlln, contemplative, reﬂective, ruminative, rhubarb, rhubarb -lhe bon mots trail Young's most revered work like besotted lackeys, and regroup round ‘Harvest Moon‘ with pliable glee.
‘Harvest Moon’ travels similar trains oi thought, traverses similar plains ol speaking, treads similar stretches oi
Taylor coo. Your memories twang oll ‘ Into the distance. Quite quietly,
* ‘Harvest Moon’ Is solid gold recast, water. ‘l‘m a dreamln‘ man . . .’ whines ;
Young In a voice only he can get away with. This is a whine with a plaintive yeamlng echoing through —the nearly-illtysomethlng streak to this sell-proclaimed Don Oulgrunglo. The
could-be voice oi middle America.
‘Harvest Moon' ls stately and sedate, backing the travails oi elemental love, mostly. Straylng lrom the purely personal, Young rues the Innate belilcoslty at man, and the sullled é purity ol natural beauty. Oh, and his dog’s gone and snulled it too. Still, says Neil Young with a snlll and a shrug, lite goes on . . .
A moothle moans and hangs In the 5 night sky. Linda Rondstadt and James I
with molten repose. (Craig McLean)
,God’s Great Banana Skin (East West) 5 A lone bluesy guitar hums Into ,audlblllty and ior three minutes calmly ; captivates, a plaintive cry (w)rlnging I out. Enterthen Rea’s gravelly narcoleptlc croon and the dynamic ; swivels. Chris leaves the long, f lonesome highway to Paris, Texas and j checks in at the Monotony Motel, .Slumbersville. For anyone else, opening an album
3 with a nine minute-plus parched psycho—lullaby could be construed as a brave move, but Rea lans have gotten ; used to hanging around, just as they’ve i had to acclimatlse themselves to the I dust'n’lethargy oi the Arizona desert scenarios he conjures up. His music’s E evocative tor sure and his lyrical - persona cast-Iron, and as usual It's shit-boring.
Neither does it ring true. Granted It‘s hard to convince the assembled 1 congregation that you’re a deep-hunin’, emollonally-trammelled ace bluesman while you sit on your lealy veranda in Welwyn Garden City but celebrating British suburban lite In traditional Mid-West style (‘90s Blues') with penect solemnlty ls playing Into the hands at sell-parody. As tor the central conceit, Chris seems to be warning against those unsolicited mislortunes that belall the complacent. You know, like having to review his new album. (Fiona Shepherd)