Pblllp Oorward on the new releases.

Three questions concerning Duran Ouran‘s cover of Lou Reed‘s ‘Perfect Day' (Parlophone). Why is it limper than a pair of wet pants? Why does Simon Le Bon sound like he's been forced to sing at gunpoint? Why was it released? No such quandaries when it comes to Bomb The Bass’s ‘One To One Religion‘ (Stoned Heights). Tim Simenon has long since dispensed with his DlY dance stuff and is now something of an elder innovator. Like ‘Bug Powder Dust‘ and ‘Darkheart‘ it draws heavily on his voyeuristic fascination with 50s and 60s beat poets. and as a result is thudding. arresting and wondrous. Just as mad. innovative and important are those jolly Transglobal Underground people who seemed to have postponed their left-field image with the release of the overtly commercial ‘lnternational Times‘ (Nation). The staple Arabian femme fatale and quarter gill of tablas have been swallowed whole by swing-hop. and michty me if they don't have a hit. Same too for Adiemus ‘Adiemus' (Virgin) I'm afraid. Enya. Deep Forest. Les Mysteres des Voix Bulgares. Oria on Air have all been ripped off in an attempt to molest your emotional heart strings. Pure fantasy. but a damn good money—making scam. If you're a bit puritanical about U2 then it's best to avoid any pop radio station over the next month. as they‘re all about to surrender to Mica Paris's cover of ‘One‘ (Cooltempo). Mica is back on form giving a belting rendition. but it’s let down by the lank Perfecto mix. Certainly. lack of fizz isn't an accusation that can be thrown in front of the speeding Yellow Car and their beefy version of Mike Scott’s ‘lt‘s Not Enough’ (Three Lines). Their raucous ‘new wave‘ punk is so infectious it could be herpes. No such impurities with The Sllencers‘ rendition of Robert McPeake's lrish (why?) folk song ‘Wild Mountain Thyme' (Permanent) for the Scottish Tourist Bored. Only pure Silencers imagery like mist rolling off hills. lochs. stags. salmon; hell. you won‘t see a better SNP advert. Well. other than Scotland winning the Grand Slam.


Elastica (Deceptive)

With urgency and zeal, Elastica go for the iugular. ‘Elastlca’ has fifteen tracks, at least six of which will be

familiar from the singles, more from their standard 40-minute zip of a live set, and left-field pop never sounded so raw-boned or fine-tuned.

Neurotic. Twitchy. Batty. Sparky. Speedy. Ouick. These are the essential attributes of Elastica’s songs. On stage, which should be their natural ' habitat, they sound brief, (up)tight and mannered. The album almost does the

: ‘Elastica’ sounds like songs by other

: detain, or derail, us. (Craig McLean)

same, with the IIew-Wave-By-Ilumbers ‘S.O.F.T.’, the iokey-nonsense of I ‘lndian Song’, and ‘AIl-Ilighter’, which i offers the bizarre spectacle of I Elastica ripping off one of their own I songs (‘Stutter’). But Elastica’s pop . nous is what helps them leapfrog the I herd of like-minded - but dull-witted 5 spikey guitar-slingers. This ultra- l catchy motherlode is generally found in the singles, with ‘Waking Up’ fast emerging as, er, a post-modern triumph of retro-futurism. And stuff. Aside: ‘2:1 sounds like the theme to ‘The Addams Family’.

Meanwhile, some of the rest of

bands. But we shouldn’t let that

‘Make Way . . .’ displays a more I mature and focused Apache. He seems to be playing less on his novelty factor and more on his ability to confront head-on the issues he believes to be inherently evil drugs and guns. The ' beauty is that the prose combat is '

; cnossoven APACHE INDIAN

Make Way For the Indian (Island)

Get a resuscitation unit ready for those who thought Apache Indian had 7 bitten off more than he could chew with his Mercury-nominated debut

1 release ‘llo Beservations’. If anyone

' was of the opinion that Apache was chancing his arm mixing bhangra and reggae, they are going to hate him now for cutting in rap and techno as well. Cynics could claim he’s ‘Make Way For The Indian’ is spreading himself too thinly over too i boisterously fresh, and a further

i much ground. He’s not; he carries off a i indication that Apache Indian is an potentially treacherous move with a important figure in an industry too wily style and bizarre grace that is 3 proud of its colonialist roots. (Philip pure Indian slink. ; Oorward)

delivered so deftly in three totally different genres. The fact he’s added a : damning techno track only adds to its spice. 1 No doubt, the album will sell on the i strength of the dodgy singles ‘Baggamuffin Girl’ and ‘Boomshackalak’. But what the hell?


‘Oiva’, Annie Lennox’s first and multi- million-selling solo album, dripped gold and chrome. The songs luxuriated in rich, synthesised arrangements, phalanxes of keyboards slathering import and emotion into every crevice and cranny. And it worked, partly because Lennox’s songwriting was never so strong, partly because her voice is defiantly resonant and sufficiently self-assured to sing a vocal version of the ‘1 812 Overture’ if she so desired.

‘Medusa’ retains the cast of its predecessor. But here, with the aid of

, arch palace-builder Stephen Lipson, { she has force-marched ten ‘old a friends’ into dizzying surroundings.

Love You”s’ shows where 80s synth- ' DOD would have gone without the

§ Young’s ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Oown’

Some survive, even benefit from, the transplant. The single ‘Ilo More “I

pastel suits and wedges, while Neil

paces with a martial dread. Others, though, are lost in the mix. The icy simplicity of The Blue llile’s ‘Downtown Lights’ becomes gaudy and orange, The Clash’s ‘Train In Vain’ is now perky and twee. And as for ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ Lennox manages the hitherto unfeasible task of making the original sound even more bombastic, pompous and ludicrous. (Craig McLean)

exuberant fashion behind Ripley’s engagingly rough-edged vocals by the five-piece band and their various stellar guests (Ry Cooder, Bonnie Baitt, James Burton), Ieavened with the odd ballad.

Forget the upmarket image makers the group’s various members have been around, and they look it too. Their success has been launched on I the sheer foot-stomping gutsiness of ; the music, exemplified by the likes of ‘Tulsa Shuffle’ or ‘Baby Likes To Rock ! It’. The songs stand up for the little ; man in the best populist country I



The Tractors (Arista)

‘All God’s children love the Tulsa Shuffle’, sings lead Tractor Steve Ripley on the opening track of this debut album, and it seems they are not far wrong. The disc became the fastest ever album to reach platinum status on its US release at the end of last year, and this Oklahoma outfit are now big news in country-rock circles. Their formula is as irresistible as it is simple a potent mix of loping country shuffles and energised country boogie, cranked out in

tradition, and ‘Fallin’ Apart’, their riposte to ‘Don’t Worry - Be Happy!’, is a little gem of downbeat irony. i Recommended. (Kenny Mathieson) J

38 The List IO-23 Mar I995