MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
Craig McLean scours the new releases.
Birds twitter and vocals witter. After their first three, increasingly- elongated singles. where the deeply-trippy Verve nearly stretched themselves to waking point, newie ‘Blue’ (Hut) pulls in the slack with three-and-a-haif minutes of loping. stoned blues riddims. There's not much else. and real interest is only pricked by the aforesaid hippy aviary that flits through second track ‘Niiight’. Verve: never were a band so oxymomnicaily named. Closer to home. those victims of a Royal Mile drive-by Bin”! sample barcode-fearing Christians over industrial riffs powered by silver seal batteries on their debut 12in. ‘intentional’l‘Glory Bus' (Human Condition). Maybe gold seal would rev up the action . . . The Edinburgh label’s third release. ‘Annalong’ by Bridgebopper. has more more guts and more spit than frontman Andrew 'nilly’s previous ‘combo’. Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes, and ends up sounding like a Seattle- based Skids tribute band. This is good.
Continuing to puff Edinburgh's revived indie scene. let’s mention letter M. Vested interests preclude my use of approbatory adjectives to describe their second single. ‘Face The World’ (Luna), so here’s a few value-free ones: ‘one- sided’. ‘white labei’, ‘raw’, ‘rhythmic’. ‘rutting’. ‘Face The World’ is dance. but not as dance as
VIP! ‘1 Want More’ (Finiflex), which gargles and squelches like acid dance part neutralised by alkali pop. (You can’t talk any more about this burbling groover without recourse to obscurantist synthesiser buffery, about which i know zilch.) ‘Face The World’ is rock. but not as rock as the live version of ‘Goodwill City’ (Blokshok) released
b Goodbye It ‘6‘“. This vein- popping. menacing ode to Edinburgh is taken from the band’s new Live: On The Day 0fStorms album. in the light of this latter release. the single would be totally extraneous to requirements were it not for the goth jackhammer cover of ‘Mystery Train'. and Martin Metcaife’s grim reaper timbre and the Belle Diabio cry of Shirley Manson on ‘Working On The Shoo- Fiy'. Ooh, I’ve gone all shivery.
_ JOE HENDERSON
So Hear, So Far (Musings for Miles) (Wm)
The success of last year’s ‘lush life’ album raised very high expectations indeed for this follow-up, which the master tenor saxophonist comes close to fulfilling. it is a collection of ten tunes either written by or associated with Miles liavis (it seems that everybody is taming out Miles tributes at the moment), a leader with whom Henderson had only the briefest of associations. The rest of the superb band, featuring .iohn Scoiieid on guitar, liave Holland on bass, and drummer Al Foster, all served longer
spells in Miles’s bands.
Henderson plays with even greater feeling for the horn than the music, and sounds as great as we have to come to expect on it. His mastery oi the hop and post-bop vocabulary is complete, but the session never quite achieves the same level of richness or complexity as its predecessor. it’s not so much a question of overt energy as a matter of intensity; the players are all a little too respectful at times, and occasionally take the ‘musings’ too literally, while the fact that Billy Strayhom wrote better tunes than Miles also plays a part. That said, it’s still a great fan record, and remains high on the list of essential purchases for 1993. (Kenny Mathleson)
_ new onnan
Empires rise and empires fail and still flew Order remain stemly, dourly intact. Aside from their brief ilirtation with Having A Good Time on 1989’s ‘Technique’ and the ‘World In Motion’ World Cup single a year later (okay, there were a couple of lake videos before that), with ‘Hepublic’ they are as drilled and programmed as ever. ‘Factory collapse, what Factory coliapse?’ they chorus, and bury their heads deeper in their studio cocoon, unswayed from their etched-in-stone agenda.
‘iiepublic’ is dry and solid, founded on Hooky’s cast-iron bass, Bamey’s still-trite lyrics, and the familiar neurobeat pound of law Order’s cerebral disco music. For the first
time in a decade, they’ve roped in an outside producer, and Stephen ‘Pet Shop Boys’ Hague refreshingly sheds light on the grey, softens up the steel — notably on the single ‘iiegret’ and ‘iiulned In A Day’. Here, How Order sound like Electronic. Weird. I don’t think.
These aren’t ’Hepublic”s only bursts of pop life, but it’s a close-run thing. For, despite the injection of lushness administered by Hague, this album still grooves to How Order’s monotone metronome. Of course, their ‘monotone’ is still a poiyrhythmic, multigrooving sexbeast compared to most other bands’. But this far down the line, this long after their last (and mighty) album, ’iiepublic’ could have cut loose a bit more, declared its independence from How Order’s well- policed, (by now) well-wom state of the nation. (Craig McLean)
THE HIST SOUL BAND
Friday The 13th And Everything’s iiosie (Silvertone)
Every debut album is the product of all the years of hard work put In by the band uptothatpolnt.8omeoithem are so good that their creators never match the opening salvo again. Even so,it’sabitofashocirtogeta whopping sixteen songs on The lost Soul Band’s first LP. iiot only that, but they’re already plugging the next release on the sleeve. Cocky.
The next surprise is finding out how strongthesesongsara. liyianisthe obvious touchstone, but there’s input front country sources and a few chances for the boys to plug in and rock out. Connon enough ingredients, but “Friday The 13th . . .’ is remarkable for its freshness.
The temptation must have been there to rain home their roots appeal by swathing songs in fiddle and banjo, or to slap on the sincerity and melodrana with a trowel. The former might still be an option, but the fact that they haven’t done the latter, keeping it understated, means that when the highlight, ‘li This In love it’s let Enough’, comes along, it’s a stunning moment. let’s hope they don’t run out of steam (or soul) too soon. (Alastair Mabbott)
48 The List 7—20 May 1993