MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
Fiona Shepherd inclines her ear to the platters that matter. A title as ace as ‘Supersonic’ should not be triﬂed with. but Dasis are game enough to try. cramming in cheeky choons. attitude that doesn't try too hard and top cultural references. Sadly. the rest of their Creation debut lacks more of the same. so hold the beatification for now. llole’s 'Miss World' (City Slang) is remarkable only in that Courtney Love resists the temptation to raise her voice above conversational level. This state of affairs is rectiﬁed on rollicking B-side ’Rock Star' to which all the snotty kids will shortly be doing the playground stomp.
Other female voices in the singles pile include the ever-sublime Miranda Sex Garden. sirens to a man who again teeter on the brink of gothic monstrosity on ‘Peep Show' (Mute) but still offer a dramatic feast where Salad can only rustle up a limp lettuce of an EP with ‘On A Leash‘ (island) which thinks it‘s terribly sharp but omits any tangy dressing.
Fun-Da-Meotal's latest diatribe follows the usual recipe ofconfrontational samples. confrontational raps. confrontational beats and some inspired use of Asian film music. Acacia are far more organic in their approach to ethnic sounds. Their ‘Maddening Shroud' EP (Alchemy Arts) grows on trees. I fancy. but is as transient as cherry blossom.
Edinburgh-based Tinkerbell's Dope Bing, who sound like they should be the greatest band on the earth‘s crust. fall some way short with ‘Ram‘l'America‘ (Floppy Records) with melody that fails to ignite. but aside from the Carteresque rush halfway through, the backing on ‘Ram‘ works its way under your skin. ‘America‘ carries a flame for The Housemanins — a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. And ever heard of Sonic Youth? So have Elevate. though their ‘Judas’ single on Flower Shop is no less a track for its obvious parentage.
Buiialo Tom do their best Marc-Cohn-if—Marc- Cohn-was-any-good impersonation on ‘l'm Allowed' (Beggars Banquet) — another slab of gritty proletarian rock destined to play cat's cradle with the heartstrings of grown men. Grown women. i think not however. Bruce
Springsteen was once regarded in the same light as the Tom are now. so let that be a lesson.
THE BRAND NEW HEAVIES Brother Sister (london)
It’s a bit early to be calling ior album oi the year but this release is tendering a strong bid. Lovineg craited, ‘Brother Sister’ is a high-class album that could sit back and laugh all day at the likes oi Dina Carroll, M- People, etc. Much maligned by their own industry ior being remix haters, the Brand iiew Heavies ARE the iuture oi British musicianship.
‘Feel the iunk, y’all, and have a good time,’ proclaims Georgia queen ll’Dea Davenport majestically. In the background, a musical masterclass is in session. A guitar picks up the pieces, a drum skin beats advance, a
real bass kicks in and horns herald iiiteen tracks oi excellence. ‘Dream On Dreamer’, ‘lleep Together’ and ‘Spend Some Time’ display the ilush MTV pop approach-that the ilrst album purveyed so well, while the rest oi the album is lust littered with musical class.
The soothing voice oi drummer in Kincaid iorges a boy-Ioves-glrl alliance with Davenport on the unmissable ‘Back To Love’ and ‘World’. li’Dea is unrestrained, excelling on ‘Forever’, a simply stunning love song. I unashamedly gush with praise ior this album; hell, I could write a thesis on its brilliance. This is a sound investment. Buy it. (Philip Durward)
_ noums mm
Weight (Imago) Mr Commitment returns. Dedicated. Scathlng. Scorniul. Terse. Curt. To the point. On the edge. lip the workers. That’s Henry Rollins, a musclebound work ethic and multl-media man- machlne. Since llolllns Band’s last album, 1992’s double ‘The End Di Silence’, our eponymous here has been diversliying (book-publishing, label-launching, record-producing, journal-writing, even stand-up ‘comedy’), spreading the WORD (a pituitary-led ilew Puritanism) into what over medium he can iind. ‘Weight’, oi course, is adjectivally correct: this heavy shit is bulky with
ieroclous import, solid and impregnable. Typical objects oi lloliins’ rage are a ‘Fool’ and a ‘liar’, and these make Henry ‘Tired’. it’s a simple manliesto, but eiiective, particularly when the rallying anthems are slabs oi crunching metal, oi the Tool/Paw school oi taut tension. Feel this ‘Weight’ and you’re under no illusions as to the seriousness oi Bollins’ intent. But, hey, ilenry, give a little: most iolks round these parts are just not up to this barrage oi iurrowed-brow brow-beating. So all- consuming is llollins’ mission that its remit doesn’t have room ior any light in this ‘Weight’, or a tea-break. At least llage Against The Machine pump the adrenalin as well as the brain. (Craig McLean)
? Rhythm Country and Blues (MCA)
? The duet is a very showbiz iorrn, and
this collection oi soul and country
standards sung by pairings oi soul and country standard-bearers is no exception. You can almost hear the
. back-slapping between numbers as
black meets white, urban meets
Almost by deilnition, this kind oi record company-inspired collection will be patchy, which is why it’s stetsons oil to producer Don Was who
'. has managed to mate the whole thing 4 hang together surprisingly well. The
lush, rather MDll sound gives
' continuity, while allowing the distinctive voices, including Conway
Twitty and Sam Moore and Clint Black and the Pointer Sisters, to shine.
And how about Tanya Tucker and little ilichard mugging their way through ‘Sornethln’ Else’? It’s a song that has been covered once too oiten but Tucker's white trash bar room blues and Richard’s outrageous ilamboyance give it a new twist.
The standout tracks are a couple oi sweet ballads, however. I.er Lovett shows his unerrlng ability to keep good company when he meets Al Green on Willie llelson’s ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’, while sweet songbirds Aaron iievllle and Trisha Yearwood make Patsy Cline’s ‘I Fall to , Pleces’ their own. 3
Even the execrable ‘Patches’ is made hallway llstenable by B.B. King and George Jones. Some ieat. (Eddie Cibb)
The Staple Singersand Marty Stuart
‘ ' _ ". U“,
Mellow Cold (Ceiien)
By a mile, ‘Loser’ is Beck’s best moment on this, the ilrst oi three albums scheduled ior this year. The rest oi ‘Mellow Cold’ lives up to its mooted credo (‘a satanic K-Tel record’ Beck llansen says, a dig on those cheesey easy-listening 10s compilations, usually ‘not available in any store’). That is, it is grade-A mental, and pretty unlistenable. Each track usually has a nugget oi a great song lurking somewhere Inside, whether it’s a snippet oi cool iollr
music or tangential lyrics or vocoded renting or a pumping beatbox. To ilnd these, though, you have to wade through so much sonic slag - studio clatter, conversational clutter — that it’s hardly worth the eiiort. Such is the prerogative oi the wacky Calliomlan, the proiessional space-cadet, who is too ‘out there, man’ ior his own good. One great song and one huge hype are no excuse. Dne back, ‘Whlskeyclone, llotel City 1991’, skips back and iorth on my CD copy. It’s probably a mistake, but you never can tell. The next track, ‘Soul Suckln Jerk’ has Davros, the Daleks’ leader, on guest vocals. it’s that kind oi record. (Craig McLean)
28 The List 8—2l Apn'l I994