IIISIG RECORD REVIEWS
Craig McLean reviews the new releases.
Phew- man'tal fascism, gay-bashing, fortysomething sex, drugs drugs drugs. Heavy stuff, these pop singles, and Blom Again can polemicise with the best of them, as ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’/‘The Little Drummer Boy‘ (M&G) prove. Know that feeling you get after gorging yourself on turkey and plum duff on Crimbo day, and the omnibus miserython of Eaernders soothes not your tortured gullet? That‘s the Bjorn Again festive single experience, that is.
Speaking ofthings turkey and duff , The Lemonheads' ‘Mrs Robinson‘ (Atlantic) is neither. The Auteurs’ ‘Showgirl‘ (Hut). meanwhile, is equally besotted with slinky. vaguely kinky relationships. So they enter into a ménage d trois with Bolan and Bowie, where Suede‘s smeg on the bed still lingers. The Auteurs‘ contribution to the new issue of Volume is better, but ‘Showgirl’ is burnished glam with tarnished sweetness. Glad to be fey . . . and glad to be gay? Senseless Things‘ ‘Homophobic Asshole‘ (Epic) says good on yer. with a breakneck rant on the saddo ignorance of said asshole. Making the lyrics nigh-unintelligible sort of blunts the impact. though. Why not go the HP linker way? Their ‘Reason’ (Roughneck) hits hard and hits heavy, a low-slung, tough metal, _slunk funk thing. Grimly ﬁendish stuff.
Likewise, nearly, ’Crush Me‘ (Fontana), in which The House of Love offer more gloom, but brightened by vague ﬂits oflyrical light from Glum Guy. But depression hangs in the air. so we head dancefioorwards for Apache lndian‘s ‘Arranged Marriage‘ (Island). This is bubbly ragga on a bhangra tip, chatting and strolling and punting a pause-for- thought message to boot. A tad convoluted. but that‘s okay.
In the freebie corner. Glasgow‘s Roundabout have a pop thrash free single available from Spiral Records. PO Box 661 . Glasgow 612 818. And finally. with hip panache me and BMX Bandits advocate ‘Serious Drugs‘ (Creation). wherein we find fruity fun and drop dead gorgeous achey strummery. Thankfully Duglas's laboured vocals are here replaced by J oe Superstar‘s rounded tones and pigeon-toed tenderness. Aw. innit nice?
2| The List 4- i7
The Predator (Island)
Who, orwhat, the MP is Ice Cube? Is he the real true saviour of South Central LA? Or is he the last buck ho’-hatln’ actor, a million miles away Irom contllct? Well, he claims to have been a boy in the ’hood betore the movie, and I, tor one, am not going to argue with him, or his lyrics.
‘Predator' is bullet-spattered with rhetorical questioning, and as Malcolm X’s iconic status grows, so does the militancy ol the Cube: ‘It’s a great day for genocide.’ ‘What’s that?’ ‘That’s the day all the niggers die.’
Certainly Ice is the wrong niggerto luck with- pimps, pushers and pigs are
invited to a wet T-shirt contest of a dltierent kind, their Fruit 0t The Looms being drenched In blood, not water. His iustillcation tor the LA riots Is that in order tor the people to get equal with the cops and jury, the city had to be taken apart; he claims the only thing that stopped them was Rodney King, not the National Guard.
Musically, ‘The Predator’ is somewhat muddy, on occasion repetitive. Lyrically, it’s unsurpassed, portraying a mind-numbing street knowledge. It’s ditiicult to condone his attitude towards women, alcohol, homosexuality and violence, but then I live in South Central Edinburgh, a million miles away trom Compton. Cop-hatineg disturbing, ‘The Predator’ contirms that Ice Cube is not lorthe pop . charts. (Philip Dorward)
MICHEAL 0 SUILLEABHAIN
Galseadh/Flowlng (Virgin Venture) Micheal 0 Suilleabhain and Shaun Davey have both developed highly individual and accomplished approaches to the delicate task oi combining traditional music and instrumentation with orchestral forces. The great strength at ‘Galseadh’, which leatures the Irish Chamber Orchestra on all but one track, is that, as in Its the brilliant predecessor ‘Oilean’l‘lsiand’, It integrates these elements without doing damage to either.
The theme of the disc is Ilow: the flow ol music, the Ilow of rivers, the flow ot time. The pastoral ‘Woodbrook’ is a
bright but also elegaic prelude to ‘ilowansionnamare’, a three-part suite inspired by the river Shannon (the slgnlllcance oi the title Is explained in the notes). Carolan’s heart-breakineg poignant air “Eleanor Plunkett’ is beautifully arranged by the pianist. The remaining tracks take a dilterent tack. The quirky ‘(must be more) CRISPY’ adapts Indian rhythmic techniques to a iaunty Irish melody. ‘AtThe Still Point CI The Tumlng World’ is a more contemplative variation on that Irish-Indian theme, as is the Michael Nyman-ish dance piece ‘Through An Eye ot Stone’, although its backwards-tape effects are the only questionable aspects ot a highly recommended disc. (Kenny Mathieson)
lncesticlde (Gotten) Rock’s new gods ring the changes tor the entire music industry, setting oil a headless chicken scavenge tor the New Nirvana. In the meantime, how about the Old ’Un? ‘lncesticide’ otters titteen 3 tracks Irom the Aberdonians’ (that’s ? Aberdeen, Washington) danderto ; cosmicstardom. A compilation that 1 seems deliberately warty, an up-yours i to the global commercial hubbub that is ! Nirvana’s poisoned chalice. Hear ‘Incesticide’ and hear a band sloughing i all dead skin, dead weight, and several ; songsthat are, chillingly, dead ringers i for Megadeth’s darkest moments.
Way back when, Nirvana were big i and thrashy, but with little direction or ; locus; tour demos dating Irom spring ’ ’88 boast punky heaviosity and noise Ior noise’s sake. In contrast, their celebrated Vaselines covers prove what a canny songwriter Eugene Kelly can be when he gets out of bed. 0i their own stutI, Kurt and co pare away the inchoate aggression lorthe ‘Sliver’ single and its B-side ‘Dive’ — a kind of hallway house between ‘Bleach' and ‘Neverrnind’. This is a band birthing before our ears, as we plot their awesome reconciliation oi punk, metal and pop.
‘Incesticide’ is heavy going -which is halt the point. its worth lies in showing what has been, and moreover, more exciting, what yet might be. (Craig McLean)