I Elvis Costello: Brutal Youth (WEA) The ‘Beard Years‘ are over. and old Declan has got back together with The Attractions. refilling his venom sacs and spraying the stuff out over the tub- thumping. hyperactive sound that accompanied prime Elvis Costello. Not that l'm one who's consciously been pining for a reunion. i mean. l liked K mg OfAmert't'u and Spike . . . but. admittedly, not as much as Blood And C horn/ate. the last EC/Attractions outing. And the patchy Brutal Youth doesn‘t come up to that standard. What starts out as a back-to- basics policy often declines into the retracing of old steps. Of the most Attractions-esque tracks here. haven‘t we heard all these melodies and inflections before? And of the rest. well. some are pretty gruesome: ‘This is Hell‘. ‘20% Amnesia‘ and ‘Clownstrike' sound like the result of songwriter's cabin fever (see also Sting: Ten Summoner 's 721183). of little interest to the world at large. But then there‘s the strangely direct ‘You Tripped At Every Step'. which actually sounds like it has some real emotion behind it. Listen to a friend’s copy before taking the plunge. (Alastair

cyanide kiss. sweet soul and country tunes with gorgeous melodies and harmonies disguising pointed. even cruel and violent subject matter.

This fourth album is the most coherent and affecting rendering of the recipe. Lyrically. Miaow puts the current Morrissey and Costello efforts in the shade. The words are some of Heaton's toughest and nastiest (notably on the already controversial ‘Mini-Correct‘). the tunes and arrangements some of the lushest. They set their stall out impeccably with the peerless opener. ‘Hold On To What‘?‘. a six- minute hymn of despair. disillusionment and death set to a lilting white soul shimmer. Even the love- songs (‘Prettiest Eyes'. ‘Worthless Lie') have a barbed edge to them. a subversive twist in the tail. belying Heaton's angelically pure delivery. (Tom Lappin)

when making this third album. Yeah. right. I’ve seen a zimmer frame with more vigour. That one. the new single. ‘l Never Had A Clue lf Me And You Were Ever To Get Our Arse ln Gear' has Tim Burgess sounding like a comatose Shaun Ryder. Not exactly the sound of music. ‘Can’t Get Out Of Bed' is Not Bad. in context. but how come Whiteout's ‘No Time' can sound so similar and yet so lively and so ATTITUDE-Y? Because for Whiteout making music isn‘t a chore and a bore. Whereas for The Charlatans and consequently for us it is. (Craig McLean) I S'M'A‘S'H: S'M'A'S'H (iii-Rise Recordings) A mini- album compilation of the Welwyn Garden City mob‘s first two garage- racket singles. ‘Real Surreal' is surpisingly mannered. given S*M*A*S*H‘s statue- kicking press. but still throws an adrenalised boot to the privates. and manages to use the word ‘defenestration’. ‘Drugs Again‘ is suitably snarly. but more aSpirin than amphetamine. ‘Revisited Again’ flicks from acoustic protest-pop. via needle/vinyl/scratch sound effect. to more sneering. ‘Lady Love Your Cant’ (a tribute to former Play Away presenter Brian Cant.

Mabbott) fiction fans) sounds like

I The Beautiful South: : The Jam. ‘Shame’ sounds L D V E S N E A K ' N , U P 'Y D U Miami: (80 Discs) Over ' like the Manics. See them

three occasionally patchy. i live for the full~on. full- 'NCLUDES SPEC'AL BONUS TRACKS

often brilliant records I The Charlatans: Up To blooded versions and the t

Paul Heaton and his Out Hips (Beggars realisation that. away

cohorts have mapped out the Beautiful South's unusual territory. Their speciality is the commercial pop song as

Banquet) Save us from baggy-bummed whingers. Supposedly The Charlatans were tnore fired-up than ever before

from all the posturing and new rave tosh.

S*M*A*S*H can actually write songs. How un-punk

: rock. (Craig McLean)

I Lorrainne Jordan: Crazy Guessing Gaines (lochsitore) Lorrainne Jordan launched this album two weeks ago with an Edinburgh concert. a Scottish tour and a somewhat different band. Jon Scullard‘s moody. fretless bass contributes to both. as does Mairi Campbell's sensitive viola and vocal

its inception. four years ago. Eclectic Records has established a new identity in Scottish music. In the pungent poetic lyrics of Michael Marra and Peter Nardini you can catch a glimpse of whippets and doos. surreal visions of football or infatuation. lit by the imagination of two of our best songwriters. Savourna Stevenson squeezes the Scottish harp into the crack between folk and jazz/rock and


some concerts. the band features the Northumbrian piper and fiddler with accordionist Karen Tweed. lan Carr on guitar and Geoff Lincoln on bass. On the album. they utilise the talents of a drummer and a separate percussionist. greatly enhancing what is already sophisticatedly rhythmic music. The ubiquitousjoie (/t’ l'fl'l't’ on this all- instrumental album is




harmony. Medium tempo. heart-on-sleeve lyrics. almost mantra-like repetition. softly rocking accompaniment and Jordan‘s pure voice put the album firmly into a sort of mid-Atlantic Joni/Vega island. but you occasionally catch the peat reek in Niall O'Callanain's bouzouki and Steafan Hannigan‘s percussion and bodhran. I Various: Rock And Water - An Eclectic Sampler (Eclectic) From

counterpointed by imaginative intros. breaks and textures; in all. a ' 5 delight to cliche-dulled 6'“ ears. The title track is a beautifully catchy. happy melody; they are ‘0'” respectful to Ornette . 2m Coleman’s ‘Four Wishes’. weave a hypnotic introduction to ‘Phil The Greek' and let ‘Halibut‘ swim over a lovely muddy ground of squidgey accordion and back beat guitar. (Nonnan Chalmers)


opens out a new landscape of sound with some of the finest musicians around. The Easy Club swings under Rod Paterson‘s rich dark vocals. Mike Travis's EH 15 juggle time and jazz idioms. and The Cauld Blast Orchestra throw everything in the soup and turn up the heat. The CI) is cheap too. under a fiver!

I The Kathryn Tickell Band: Signs (Black Crow)

Arriving here in April for


The List 25 March—7 April l994 29