MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS___
Calvin Bush reviews the new releases.
As wise men often remark. some things were ne'er meant for mere human comprehension. so why bother trying? This being January, there are even more incomprehensibles than ever before. Like. why has Gerry Rafferty even bothered to make a single, let alone call it ‘Get Out OfMy Life. Woman‘ (A&M)? Lifetime‘s
’ membership to SFA
(Sexist Forkwits Anonymous) on the way. Gezza. And do The Ukrainians genuinely
' believe their ‘Pizni lz The
Smiths‘ (Cooking Vinyl). four Smiths covers. is any more amusing than indigestion? Or. like. how come the re-release of Tom Robinson‘s powerful. excoriating ‘War Baby‘ (Cooking Vinyl) gives all its proceeds to the Cold Front charity. yet bears the catalogue number FRY 22'? Wherefore the reasoning behind contrary characters Faith No More covering Lionel Richie‘s ‘Easy‘ (London). atrociously. then backing it with their own fiery-branded rock of ‘Be Aggressive"? Answer ye. 1 can not. Try those bloody wise men.
What I can tell you is that ifyou think The God Machine‘s sky-scraping leap-of-faith epic ‘l lome‘ (Fiction) is good (and we do, we do). wait till you hear their album. The adjective ‘stupcndous‘ at last finds its true home.
Only in the field of dance music is there nary a pause for post-festive convalescence. Already grabbing pardners and Koschino babes by the hand are DzReam‘s glorious. uplifting. gospelly New Year anthem ‘Things Can Only Get Better‘ (FXU). Love Station‘s stomping surefire hit ‘Shine On Me‘ (Fresh) and Underworld‘s indescribable ‘Skyscraper’ (Boy‘s Own). Eskimos And Egypt‘s ‘Fall From Grace‘ (One Little Indian) deserves to be coming to a Top Of The Pops near you shortly. The Forgemasters‘ minimalist tribal ‘Quabbala‘ EP is another coup for Falkirk‘s emergent Hubba liubba label. But already a contender for single ofthe year in the Bush Bunker is Sequenhars ‘Sequential/Prophet‘ (Rising High). Licensed from Germany. it‘s two masterly. loosely danceable soundscapes of the ambient variety. Breathtaking. symphonic. luxuriant.
While Johnny’s guitar gently weeps, Matt’s voice quietly seeps. Seeps into the disembodied bowels of a megaphone, bleeds into his heart’s hurt, melts into the shadows of another grimly fiendish London night. Eee, he’s a right world-weary, troubled soul is our Matt Johnson- and if the world’s troubles sounded half as good as ‘Dusk’, Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s P45 would be on his desk.
This is dirty dance-rock, bullish and firm. ‘Love. . .' meanwhile, is its counterpoint, ponderous in a post-coital kinda way, and more typical of the album’s supine restraint. ‘Here comes the blue skies, here comes
‘ springtime . . . When everything that
dies shall rise' - redemption and rejuvenation rolled into one spiritual bag. Ashes to ashes, dust to ‘Dusk’, The The's filth album is big on religion.
Fittineg then, ‘This Is The Night‘ and ‘BluerThan Midnight’ re-run the devilish, haunted blues course that The The have always cruised. Johnson’s voice aches over Marr’s skeletal guitar, building a sound that shys clear of the apocalyptic doom and clutter of previous The The angsts. ‘Lung Shadows’ may have a sinister, hissed . claustrophobic lyric and ‘Lonely I Planet’ might cry out for (ecological) salvation, but ‘Dusk’ remains surprisingly uplifting, so exquisitely penetrative, seedy and seductive is the ‘ songwriting and playing. Round about this pointlthinkl’m meant to call ! ‘Dusk’ the year’s firstclassic album. 80 lwill. (Craig McLean)
Music For Your Mother (Westbound)
All praise to Ace Records for making
here, for ‘Music For Your Mother' is a
this appealing package available over
3 all right, but the classic Funkadelic
Q ‘Dne Nation UnderA Groove’ doesn’t
; through. Afterfhe comfortineg familiar ' ; sloping groove of the opening track,
3 we're dropped into a lucky bag wherein ‘ James Brown discovers psychedelia
heaving double-CD of every track that
appeared on a Funkadelic single
between the years 1969 and 1976. These are the roots of a revolution,
sound that hit us between the eyes on
crystallise until we get to ‘Cosmic Slop’, almost three-quarters of the way
and Sly Stone slugs it out with The Supremes. There's the Motownish ‘Can’t Shake It Loose’, plenty of
a dextrous but rough-edged R&B, rock, a i smattering of gospel and even the
occasionalsocial profundity(‘lfYou !
Don’t Like The Effects, Don’t Produce
The Cause’), all erupting from the restless imagination of George Clinton and given life by a superb band on bizarre drugs.
The very fact that half of this collection is B-sides means that it’s bound to drag from time to time. Nevertheless, it's spot-on most of the time. Stoned and (quite) immaculate. (Alastair Mabbott)
THE WEDDING PRESENT
Hit Parade 2 (RCA) ‘lt’s the ultimate scam, man.’ ‘Yeah, and testament to the enduring might of the 7m single in the face of cultural and technological hostility.’ ‘And, like, it’s two fingers to the majors’ venal marketing schemes, subverting RCA from within, doing it lorthe kids instead of The Man.’ ‘Hmmm, and it’s most definitely post-modern . . .’
That was the year that was. The year The Wedding Present, the archetypal
indie troupers, saved their increasingly
anachronistic, rutted skins by
releasing one highly-collectable single
every month. But only the early bird catches the turd, sorry, worm, these singles being bona fide artefacts by dint of their limited edition-ness. DED
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this CD. All the second six singles, all the ho ho ho D-sides (‘Theme From Shaft’, ‘60 Wild In The Country’, ‘Step Into Christmas’ - crazy haircuts, crazy guys). Brilliant! Bingo! Bunkum.
Stripped of their individual collectability, herded together on one anonymous disc, The Wedding Present's brilliant idea loses all meaning. The songs are thick-set and , Iumpen, David Gedge’s vocals stolid and floundering, all even worse than the first six. All just fourth generation bastard re-hashes of the good things the Pressies used to do on their own Reception label, back when they really did suscribe to the ‘indie ethic' rather than just crudely hijack it like they’re doing now. Remove the concept from the songs and you're left with . . .
‘That’s “Hit Parade” with a silent yeah?‘ (Craig McLean)
.;_ -t .
36 The List 15 — 28 January 1993