Damien love sorts out the sizzling prime cuts from the cold turkeys.
It says here that Edinburgh's Groove Tunnel have ‘built up a reputation as a modern- day Booker T & The MGs’. while a vignette on the sleeve of ‘Rainy Day' (Detour) depicts lovers seeing their ‘rent arrears and red bills . . . dissolving in the natural high'. ahem. of a Groove Tunnel gig. Be warned: we're actually talking about a modcin~day J’l‘Q rip-off who will neither affect you spiritually nor ever be used as cricket theme music by the BBC. Meanwhile. in Glasgow. Badgewearer‘s ‘This Is Not A Door‘ l-IP (Guided Missile) is a crowded. hard-to-listen-to racket which probably makes a lot of sense when you're jumping around in a big crowd. Kinda like The Ex. all stream of paranoid consciousness scattershot lyrics. it comes in a fold- out bigots cover. and garners special hot points for mention of Johnny Weismuller in a song title.
Starting with a synthy warble and staccato bass/guitar chopping. ‘Not Enough‘ (tr7). the debut from Honey. momentarily fools you into thinking that it‘s gonna be a blurryelastic job before revealing itself as having more in common with Baby Chaos than Wire. and isjust sort of. . . there. really. unlike the debut from The Delgados on their own Chemikal Underground label: ‘Brand New Car' flies a twin-vocalled pop machine above the hinterland betwixt Sonic Youth and The Undertones. while ‘Monica Webster‘ features breathless tinny- mic rantings about cheesecake and gurls.
I walked for miles in the rain for a copy of ‘Music By Walt Disney/.11 perfectly-formed ten-track 7in from Yummyfur. and would do so again for this comic-strip future drawn by claustrophobic teen Goddards where Fire Engines sold records and went rockabilly.
Finally. from neither Glasgow nor Edinburgh. but fallen from the timeless love palaces of Venus. comes ‘Found A Little Baby‘ (Domino) by Plush. It starts with a sucking-in of breath and muses ‘what’s so bad about dying'?' before rediscovering the arcane delights of meaningful humming in pop. Scott Walker backed by the Pet 'Sounds band and perfect like dust in the sunlight.
38 The List 10-23 Feb 1995
MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
Tanya Donnelly has got one of those quirky folk-singer voices that soars effortlesst and without warning, rides the breeze, then drops back into line. Yet, like The Cranberries’ Dolores, you can definitely have enough of a good
' thing. But still it’s the most distinctive
thing Belly have got going for them.
i You can’t ignore it — it’s there surfing
the ponderous and otherwise unremarkable slow numbers like
; ‘Judas My Heart’ and ‘The Bees’ that don’t go anywhere except where the ' voice takes them. It dances all over
5 the immediately accessible bouncy
3 likes of ‘How They'll Sleep' and
: probably sell cartloads and Belly will
I The Beautiful South before them.
‘Super-connected’ (winner of Most Irritating Pseudo-Profundo lyric and we’re only in February) without ever lighting on either a touching or a highly-charged melody.
They get it semi-right on the lilting ‘Silverfish’, one from the slowie category, and on the charming ‘lied’ which bristles with latent power, like something oor ane Thrum might have put on their album. However, it’s only the title track that does what you always imagine Belly doing. It rocks - like a cradle.
But what do I know? ‘King’ will
become Kenny and Tracey’s favourite ‘indie’ group, like The Cranberries and ,
k. '- .Q.
\v I‘ 37’s
(Fiona Shepherd) ! M of Leadbelly, Howlin Wolf and Son 3 House, McDonald plugs right into the 'j Afro-American experience, weaving a . ’ tapestry that incorporates Sly Stone- " LITTLE AXE like grooves alongside Little Axe’s The Wolf That House Built own gospelised house. W (Wired/M843) Maybe he’s taken on a little too
So Skip McDonald, guitarist for Tackhead, has made his blues album. What’s it gonna be like? The revival of some classic Albert King combo vibe
i souped up with state-of-the-art rack- mounted digital effect processors? A Clapton-like re-tread of cornerstones of the genre? BB. King on E? No, none of these. ‘The Wolf That House Built”s connection with the blues is at once more tenuous and far more deeply- rooted than such straightforward options. Through the sampled voices
much conceptual baggage, but the album is none the worse for that. McDonald has been playing since the 505, and can rise to just about any challenge he sets for himself. Co- producer Adrian Sherwood dextrously manipulates the multi-tracked guitars, while the muscular chops of Doug Wimbish and Keith LeBlanc are on hand to ensure that Tackhead fans will not turn up their noses at this record. Fears of pastiche quickly fade; this is ; homage. (Alastair Mabbott)
:9 ' =9 4... .,. 3...? "
The Icon Is Love (A&M)
Hot, sticky, slow-pouring molasses. A voice to make even the coldest heart melt. Barry White, gargantuan guru of love is now 50 and with his new album could well have reached the climax (sorry) of his musical endeavours. His status as sultan of smooch combined with his wobbling mass and sweaty brow has made him a easy piss-take and overshadowed what has to be one of the coolest, richest voices in the business, leaving middle of the road soulsters like Luther Vandross standing. R—Kelly may have the ‘Sex-
i g i
Me’ swing thing happening enough to sell-out Wembley, but for the real _ _ ,. secrets of seduction, see Barry. True, . ,: ,. there are tracks that are reminiscent of earlier sounds (‘Ectasy’, ‘I’m Gonna . Love You’) and the subject is still the ; same, but then, we wouldn’t want it , any other way, would we? The collaboration of funksters Chuckii Booker and Gerald Levert and producers Jam and Lewis make for a slick production sound and give a distinctively 90s feel to most of the tracks. On ‘The Time Is Right’ and ‘Come Dn’, the voice purrs and resonates with a big sexy textured ‘ sound. Forget The Three Tenors, this is ' the voice that left this girl all of a quiver. (Lila Rawlings)
l Martine’s voice, icy and hurt, chilling and thrilling in equal measure. ‘Overcome’ has the natural poeticism of a beating heart. Cardiac arrest indeed.
‘Aftermath’ and ‘Hell Is Round The 5 Corner’ mine the same sinister vein. ‘Black Steel’ and ‘Brand flew, You’re . Retro’ show Tricky’s brasher, ballsier side. ‘You Don’t' and ‘Pumpkin’, meanwhile, brighten up cloistered clubs with the light of burning torch songs. And just in case we’d forgotten the record’s eerie beginning, in comes ‘Struggling’, its backbeat provided by I a rifle being cocked over and over, its coda sinisterly ticking down the seconds. Addictively, ‘Maxinquaye’ will fill your world.
Dance music just took a massive leap forward. (Craig McLean)
Maxlnquaye (4th & Broadway)
If you caught Tricky’s performance of Public Enemy’s ‘Black Steel’ on ‘The Word’ the other week, you’ll know that this is no sloe-eyed bunch in thrall to the stoned groove. This is one Bristol boy that RDCKS. And this is a debut album that stuns.
After a 1994 full of delays and disappointments ‘Maxinquaye’ is consistently revelatory. An apposite taster came last month with the single ‘Dvercome’. 0n the surface, it was mellow gold, a kissing cousin of its sister track, Massive Attack’s , ‘Karrnacoma’. But then there was
i l l J