Craig McLean really digs ,

the new Kristin Hersh single but doesn’t have room to review it. Got them start-of-the- year-reevaluation-of—Iife blues? Here, try this: 'Peel out the ii'tlfl‘llli'fll‘d, just pee! on! the watchword.’ She‘s back. is Tori Amos. and this time she’s singing about breakfast cereals. Or something. ‘Comflake Girl' (East West). for all its gooeg madness. is a tonic. There are spaghetti westem whistlings. invocations to ‘Rabbit‘ and 'Raisin Girls'. antsy piano. and that heaven- sent. hell-bent voice. Altogether now. ‘Where 'd you put the keys girl f" Em. think I left them in my other (strait)jacket. Shock-Therapy? And the shocker is that ‘Nowhere’ (A&M) is more like Judas Priest than the B-side version of the Priest‘s mighty 'Breaking The‘. In the three minutes in the last year when Therapy? haven't been on the road or in the studio. they’ve gone from punky malcontents to heavy metally lunkheads. 'Shame’ (Les Disques De Popcor). the second single from the latest second coming. S‘M'A'S'H. isn‘t very good either. Don't be fooled: this is The Buzzcocks without the buzz and more of the cock(-up). llonly everything in life was as reliable as an Inspiral Carpets single. ‘Saturn 5‘ (Mute) sticks two lingers up to scene-led cynics by brandishing Clint Boon‘s organ like the ever- powerful totem and chorus-chariot it so readily is. ‘Saturn 5' could be off any one of their four albums. But like someone somewhere once said. go to work on an


For true needling innovation. try ‘A Street Scene‘ (Circa) from Bark Psychosis. There's a hippy mellowness in there. topped off in the middle with some car- crash jazz . . . which sounds not unlike

: TlllllBl'SthkS‘ cracker

four-tracker EP (This Way Up). Hear ‘Kathleen' and wallow in love-pangs you could chew. Still got them s-o-t-y-r-o-l blues? Rest assured. there's always someone tnore depressed than you. and that person

i i is usually Stuart

34 The List I4 «27 January I994



LOVE AND MONEY littledeath (Iona Gold)

It’s night-time. Emotional glory is ‘ineiiable’ and a lost girl is ‘capricious’. There’s a sweet black luger in a pulpit and a man kneeling beneath a cross. He goes, ‘Keel haul me, baby. . .’ The neighbours, meanwhile, are shagging.

We’ve missed James Grant. Missed that mordant wit and those bleak diagnoses oi his own love and loss. He gets the misery, we get the songs, he gets to indulge his bent ior open-air catharsis. A good deal, but it the price is the disintegration oi Love And Money and increasingly wayward behaviour irom a screwed-up Grant, then we can’t aiiord it. For as

‘littledeath’ proves, this is one talent that just gets better and better. I.&M’s

| McLean)

iourth album has lewer moments oi rhythmic upliit than their third, but it compensates by oiiering richer pickings in those harder truths. The mesmerising score oi the instrumental ' title track, which opens and closes i ‘Littledeath’, sets the scene. ' Thereaiter, yearning never sounded so keen as on ‘Pray For love’. lyrical monkey-ponies and a jazz-blues stroll evince iurther turmoil on ‘Bitches Breach’. As ior ‘What Time Is The last , Traln’, it’s the iorgotten soundtrack to | ‘Briel Encounter’. And while Grant gently weeps, I harmonica soitly walls, and louise Hutkowski and Gwen Stewart ilute in the backdrop. A weeping, winning, ' wonderiul combination. (Craig



KRISTIN HEHSH Hips And Makers (4A0) Speaking as a non-Throwing Muses lan, this is terriiic. So goodness only knows what you rampant Nershophiles are going to make oi this acoustic mini-marvel irom the mistress oi Eerie, Indie-ana. I’d prescribe preparatory breathing exercises and a bit oi a lie-down alterwards, myseli. Analogies to the exploits oi hali- sister Tanya Oonnelly are predictable, but here goes anyway. While Oonnelly delivers a bellyiul oi bittersweet palatibility, Hersh oiiers an oxymoron

i oi a diiierent kind. Her songs are

simultaneously gentle and delirious, controlled and ireaky, sweet and disturbing . . . erm, this and that. Current single ‘Your Ghost’, ieaturing iellow haunted traveller Michael Stipe

on backing vocals, is a comparatively understated opener, remarkable only ior its reminder oi that unhinged

stand-out track like the lervenl ‘A Loon’, or delivering a PJ Harvey-style statement oi intent - ‘You’ll have to deal with me then/You’ll hear me in the wind’ - on ‘Houdini Blues’, while Jane Scarpantoni’s cello gently weeps in the background.

me’ lyrical twist beiore our Polly, but

now/l haven’t leit you yet’ (‘Me And My Charms’) in this stripped-down context does lessen the distance between the two, and uniortunately paint Hersh iurther into the ‘angsty .iemale’ corner. But there’s always her I harrowing delivery, like a possessed iSandy Oenny, to distinguish her. (Fiona IShepherd)

country girl voice, better ilaunted on a

Oi course, Hersh was doing the ‘rid oi

hearing words like ‘You can’t leave me


Swing Batta Swing (Big liie)

You’ve got to admit it, ‘Come Baby Come’ is a great song title; not a bad track either, iunky, regimental, original. Moist with anticipation? Don’t be. It appears that K7 has Oiled on KY. My guess is he’s the

long lost love child oi a Tory minister. Certainly he has their most common trait, that his world revolves around his dick rather than reality (see ‘Let’s Bang’, ‘Body Bock’ or ‘Move It like This’, baby?)

Back to musical basics, the harmonic

quality oi the vocals are one oi very

l iew redeeming ieatures, but that’s cancelled out by lyrical content which

3 leads you to belive that Manhattan,

! New Yawk is twinned with

5 Walthamstow, London. Beatwise, it’s

unoriginal, generally coniused: is K7 Will Downing, Fresh Prince or Johnny

§ Gill? He jacks in all trades and is

master at none.

‘Hi Oe Ho’ (apologies to Cab

Galloway), ‘Hang On In There Baby’

; (respect to Johnny Bristol) and ‘A

Little Help From My Friends’ (nothing I to do with the Beatles or Marti Pellow) i

1 might sell ‘Swing Batta Swing’ but it’s irankly not enough to keep you rigid with excitement. One iloppy

discopointment. (Philip Oorward)

i l


Mary Oueen Oi Scots (August) I And just when it seemed the backside g was iinally going to tail out oi

Eugenius’s raggedy-arsed breeks,

stitching iatally unpicked by a dull i single (‘Caesar’s Vein’) and the Death

Oi A Scene, Eugene Kelly iires back with a second album that proves that there’s Iiie alter Glaswegian Gr’ " ’ge. Just like he always implied as he slagged all their debut album, ‘Oomalarna’, ior being too quick and too old too soon.

‘Mary Oueen Oi Scots‘ shouts POP! irom atop tall buildings with the

. irresistible ‘Blue Above The Booitops’, 1 the title track, and last single ‘Easter

? a cutesy, ditsy toddler-tune, and you

have one killer ol 3 iirst side. Side two

I couldn’t really match up, especially

E given the cumulative tendency oi

: Kelly’s vocals to drift oil into the

i ether with a trudge in their heels. The

i general demeanour oi ‘Mary Oueen Oi

g Scots’ remains uniussy, buny and

: iuny, lacking adventure and intrigue.

i Still, they can still iind the gumption

I to come up with the acoustic-lament-

meets-echoey-steelguitar marvel oi

i ‘Biver Clyde Song’. At moments like

1 these - when Eugenius shrug oii their divine right to slouch, when Kelly lets his own imagination take precedence over the iniluence oi his peers - the

. likelihood oi their transcending

l iashion and lad seems all the more

I plausible. (Craig McLean)

Bunny’. Throw in the opening ‘Pebble’,