Alastair Mabbotf reviews the new releaes.

Apache Indian continues to tower over his rivals with ‘Boom Shack-a- Lack’ (island). a great swaggering bluebeat thing. And since. on my pressing of the CD at least. the second track has come first. a word of praise for ‘Caste System'. a right-on rap that‘s pulsating with energy.

After hearing that. the lifeless drivel that is Eugenius's 'Caesar's Vein‘ (August)just turns belly-up and dies. A tune threatens to invade the song at the outset of the chorus but it is swiftly ! ambushed and sent packing. At least their compatriots The BMX Bandits‘ ‘Kylie’s Got A Crush On Us' (Creation) is vaguely amusing (albeit for about two listens) and The Pearlfishers' ‘Saint Francis Songs‘ (lona) sound like they gave a damn about writing a tune and making it sound as good as they could. Acoustic guitars.

hearts. a cover of a previously unheard Brian Wilson song and. with a 3 bit of skill. you can whistle it. 1

Remixer Harri has done a radical deconstruction job on Glasgow rock band Angel Heart's i ‘Headquarters' (Walking Man). although he’s slapped them on to a fairly pedestrian backing track. Main point of interest is the singer. who emotes in a mannered poker-up-the-arse way not heard since Pete Murphy left Bauhaus. Some rocky j guitarjuts out to remind you who you're listening [0.

Who are Main? Three guys by the names of Hampson. Dowson and Green. and that‘s all I can tell. apart from the fact that their new EP. ‘Dry Stone Feed' (Beggars Banquet) makes My Bloody Valentine sound like Steely Dan. Processed guitars churn around in locked grooves and vocals are either forgotten about or buried. The tracks segue into each other. so you can look on it as one long piece with a few variations.

The Voodco Dueens provide this issue‘s slice of indie-pop with 'Kenuwe Head’. a tribute to Number One Bodacious Wetsuit Dude Keanu Reeves. ()r is it a comment on the

uselessness of real flesh- and-blood men when compared to flawless fantasy figures. Who can tell? I'll give it another spin anyway. ‘cause l

want to know how

I; ‘Keanu‘ is pronounced

too. i

28 The List 30 July—l2 August l‘)‘)3

squeezebox. aching Celtic .,


Bigger, Better, Faster, More: (lnterscope)

Hats off to ‘What’s llp’, the fluke smash hit of the year, and the kind of song which implants itself so deep in the brain that it’ll probably be chewing on my synapses for years to come. But don’t expect more of the same on the album. Despite sweeping to fame on the coat-tails of grunge, Four llon Blondes are at heart a blues band. Beginning with a rattling ride through the harmonica railroad blues ‘Train’, they return to their roots on practically every second song. And when they’re not . . . well . . .

Four Non Blondes make a good noise together, captured well by producer David Tickle. They can play. llence, perhaps, all this gutsy, no-nonsense blues. But most times they seem to be about to punch through into something more individual, they draw back to the safety of the twelve-bar, or start to pick through the leftovers of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. It seems more like a lack of < nerve, or vision, than a respect for 1 their elders. The high number of non-

. band co-writers credited suggests that

Four llon Blondes could find their next

: album a bit of a struggle. I have pleasure to report, though, that

‘What’s Up’ is a 100 per cent Linda Perry original. (Alastair Mabbott)


The First Day (Virgin)

Though both on the margins, David Sylvian and Robert Fripp have contrasting enough mindsets to make a fruitful collaboration; Sylvian the wistful aesthete, Fripp the clinical but intuitive theorist. As it turns out, they’ve made a happy fusion here. For every burst of aural violence, such as the ‘Purple llaze’-style riff ‘Brightness Falls’ is based on, there are long passages of floaty, meditative keyboards (always anchored by a discreet, sympathetic rhythm section). To counter the somewhat imposing one-chord funk riffs in odd time signatures, there’s the very

' approachable ‘Jean The Birdman’

which in a more cerebral world would definitely make a hit single.

I don’t think you’re really meant to listen to the words too closely. Various lines that poke their heads above the battlements - as when Sylvian announces that ‘the ticket’s exploded’ and he’s ‘moving to the house of love’ - seem to confirm that the best policy is just to get lost in the pictures the music is making.

In the late 70s, Fripp sallied forth on a trilogy which comprised his production jobs for Peter Gabriel and Daryl llall plus his own LP ‘Exposure’. With the news that there’s a Fripp/Eno album on the cards for later this year, could he be trying a similar thing again? If so, ‘The First Day’ is a respectable opening shot. (Alastair

’1 Mabbott)


Debravation (Chrysalis)

Deborah Harry was a disco queen long before we were lambasted by Madonna’s glitz tits, and comparisons between her and Ciccone are all too easy. The difference is that while ‘Erotica’ was soft porn wrapped up as pop, ‘Debravation’ is innovation without self-denigration.

‘Debravation’ is at its best when in the hands of Anne (Art Of iloise) Dudley. ‘Strike Me Pink’ and ‘Mood Ring’ are enchanting autumnal serenades. She even manages to make the obligatory ‘hopeful’ song, ‘lleep Dn Doing’, sound sincere (Latino chants and steel drums aside).

Dld Blondie fans should listen out for collaborations between Harry and her ex, Chris Stein. Much grittier, the wailing guitar riffs of ‘llain’ and ‘Dancing Down The Moon’ are more suited for American ears, but ‘Standing In My Way’ should see new- wavers reaching for the Grecian 2000 as their feet tap to a BPM more akin to a techno record. Nothing here matches Blondie peaks, but have Bowie, Jagger, McCartney or Bunrig

written a decent song in the last ten

years? ‘Debravation’ is a much more attractive package than the singles may suggest, and it goes to prove that Deborah Harry is still a very original

~ artist. Will we be able to say the same

of Madonna at 47? (Philip Durward)