Fiona Shepherd reviews the

new releases.

Sugar and spice. frogs and snails— of such things is a varied week for singles composed. although The Cranberries prefer to chisel their beguiling ()cui'reout of dew-heavy cobwebs. Blow on ‘Linger‘ (Island)

and it would disperse in a

plenitude ofglistening droplets. Beeyoootiful and gracefully topping this


Not released till March is saidflorence‘s Epic debut ‘Definitely Maybe‘ but as we want to be ahead ofall the other kidsat school. we‘re proclaiming its youthful spunk now. Or would be ifany vestige of character and song were able to penetrate the Mr Sheen production camouflage. For the record. it's a (‘arteresque streak offthe blocks. bursting with vim. and scablike in its irritation. And while we‘re on gloss alert. if ‘Love Makes No Sense‘ (Tabu) to schmaltz-meister Alexander D‘Neal. then what hope is there for creatures of less consummate capabilities? Back to the drawing board Eek. or better still. your day job.

Those singular sirens Miranda Sex Garden continue to tread a wilfully contrary path with ‘Play‘ (Mute). a minimalist pastoral curiosity destined to alienate all well-balanced mortals. Women were burnt at the stake for less than this unhinged declamatory maelstrom. So more power to their agit-ambient Siouxsie and the Banshees for druids approach.

Elsewhere. The Senseless Things load up on their magical draught of socio-political motivation and dispense a convincing slab of indie boogie invective in ‘Primary lnstinct‘ (Epic). Altogether now, T-shirt stall no more. transit van no more. toilet circuit no more, stage-divers no more. . . In a similar thrusting vein. Brum narcissists Scorpio Rising go ‘Silver Surfing‘ (Chapter 22) on a wave of

furiously athletic i drumming.leavingtheir

Nedlike peers beached halfway up the MS.

Aquatic pursuits also from

Gary Clark. Just a thought

hcrc.though:what happensif‘We Sail()n The Stormy Waters'

(Circa)? We get wet.don't

we? But. hey. at least we go down with high production values.



Where You Been (blanco y negro)

Who would have thought it, a Dinosaur Jr album that is both louche and slouch? ‘Where You Been‘ is made of these, a twin-track meeting of raw-boned intent and the ambling, leaf-kicking figure of lonesome of’ J Mascis. Out of this comes an album big on razor-wire guitar excess, a near-unsettling sweep of classical gravitas ‘Automatic For The People‘ 1992), and poor-weary-me vocals. Notfor nothing, methinks, does the back cover sleeve art echo Edvard Munch‘s ‘Silent Scream‘.

Let‘s look at ‘Get Me‘. That guitar squeals like a stuck pig, before finally giving us the kiss off with a sprightly turn of twangery. J doesn‘t notice, couldn‘t care. He‘s wrapped up in his turmoiled emotional world, his streaky

i l

i McLean)



Sunscreem are smiley clowns tomfooling on a tightrope: a mega-gigging hard-House power pop

: band (old concept, new style). That's neat. But it‘s a fine line up Duality Street they walk, and no one

knows it better than Sunscreem themselves. Hence, the choice (or is it insidious marketing entrapment?) of ‘03‘ the irresistible glee-cackling song-based version, or ‘03' the ‘Special DJ Edition‘, the dancefloor-oriented stretch sesh courtesy of remixers Slam, Leftfieid, Farley and Heller, etc.

‘Tis truly a forked path these devils speed down. In perfect motion, too, it has to be said. Lucia, that dreadlocked harpy from Heaven, with a voice like Harriet Wheelerwith balls, is one of the precious few who sound consistently wonderful on the dancefloor. ‘Trip on this,‘ is her

rallying call on ‘Walk Dn‘, and t‘aint hard, given this soundtrack of mega-techno House throbbers with vocals that fit their dirty rhythms like a velvet glove. Yup. All the hits

(‘Pressure‘, ‘Broken English‘, ‘Love U

i More’). Perfecto pop. Delirious dance.

1 ‘03‘ cuts like a knife, both ways. Hooj

choons? Hooj ‘chievement, my friends.

1 (Calvin Bush)

32'l'he List 2‘)January—- ll February 1993

Q) . p.

vocals a mogadon-ed Neil Young. The guitars grind on, J groans on, one fired up, one wound down— a composite sound speaking in forked tongue.

l Immediately after ‘Drawerings‘ does

the same.

So why does ‘Where You Been‘ still hang together? ’Cos J‘s long-time laid-back approach to bringing his l cooled-off rock to the boil is once again l in full flow afterthe soft-pedalling of ‘Green Mind’ (even if, still, much here 5 would register only dimly on the ‘Freak Scene‘ scale of Bevelational Bock). ‘Start Choppin‘ cuts like Hendrix. “Goin Home‘ has no riffology but reedy organ soul and strange, strangled harmonies instead. ‘Not The Same’,

Q the one with the strings, has J’s

' scarifying falsetto and pure mordant unease. This, more than anything else, captures the diverting span and subtle

power of ‘Where You Been’. (Craig


Mo-Di (Triple Earth)

Scots music of the land never sounded

like this before. Whitherthe sights and sounds of the wind-whipped coastline? Whitherthe celebration of the soil, the

j filling of the land? Whither the Arran j jumpers? ‘Milking The Cow‘ may be on ' the menu, but instead Mouth Music opt

for scrutinising the traditional Caiedonian voice in its global context,

1 spotlightingtheirquestbyjuxtaposing .' theirmost straightforward Gaelic

offering ‘Crathadh T‘Aodaich’ with the buoyant Asian reel ‘Zhabda‘ to point up the consanguinity. The result is far more liberating than the cloistered, though captivating, ceilidh noises produced by their peers, closer in

' Bulgarian choir—and in others to the

earthytribal hedonism of Baaba Maal.

There‘s a degree of kinship between ‘Mo-Di‘ and Russell Burn‘s Piefinger experiment. Both are exploratory hybrids of soundtrack ambience and the dynamics of the ethnic dancefloor- ‘He Mandu' is the number one

floorfiller in the world music disco, and 3

the aforementioned ‘Milking The Cow‘ and ‘80 Step Off‘ would not sit ill on a far-sighted club playlist, while the elegiac ‘Hoireann D‘ and ‘Birnam‘, a now-strident, now-wistful anthem for tree-huggers everywhere, are the full before the deluge.

Like a Scottish Dead Can Dance, Mouth Music are a cross-cultural

sponge, diverting in that they dare to be T

different, and unlike anything previously jettisoned from these shores. (Fiona Shepherd)

I places to tlfiotherworidly timbre ofthe