MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
The existential crisis deepens as Damien love stares into the very maw of the new releases . .. Glasgow’s Creeping Bent ﬁres another shot into the abyss with the release of The leopards’ debut. ‘Burning‘. Possibly the greatest live experience crawling the city at the moment. none of the group's spit and swagger is lost in the translation to vinyl. Opening with violent guitar spirals and rivet-driving drumming. these are the paranoid ramblings of some lonely hair-loser realising things are about to go wrong and remembering all the times they've gone wrong before. while the chorus keens like a sweetheart's last goodbye. it all lasts about twenty seconds or something.
More subterranean Scots. Policecat’s ‘Larry‘ (Domino) is one of those perfect summer Sunday morning swirls. all lo-fi violins and organs and. best of all. has a sleepy chorus. mourning ‘1 don‘t know what it’s all about‘. On the ﬂip. ‘Classy’ is another of those songs about eIOping with your company cars containing the genius line ‘You’ve never seen a fit like my wife threw‘. Sigh.
After a southern-fried rattlesnake intro. ‘Sparky’s Dream' (Creation) sees a return to the classic descending basslines and Beach Boy harmonising Teenage Fanclub do so well. after the more. er. mellow acousticisms of ‘Mellow Doubt'. Also included is their Richie Hawtin collaboration. a radical. twenty-minute avant- ambient restructuring of Buffalo Springfield's ‘Bumed'. Truly. summer is here.
Shfiek's ‘Girl Meets Girl’ (Deceptive) seems to have been around for ages now. which doesn‘t detract from its sharp. sneery delights. First time l’ve noticed it sounds like Manic Street Preachers. though.
Enough smart jocks. i can tell you're more interested in hearing what ‘This Is Music’ (Hut) by Oasis' mates The Verve sounds like. produced as it is by the fonner‘s collaborator and allegedly featuring one L. Gallagher. Well — y'know that group Oasis . . ? Nah. that's not fair. Still.
Lastly. apparently The Boo Radleys are dead good. Can’t see it myself. Slightly irritating. maybe. Voice like a timid weasel. true — but dead good? No. c'mon. admit it. Their new single is called 'Find The Answer Within' (Creation). Doesn‘t that just say it all?
r" .t’,’ 1/, .. ‘ ~ P ‘ ; . 4 “
BEE— BMX BAHDITS
Gettin’ Dirty (Creation)
Heckon The BMX Bandits could teach Michael Bolton a thing or two about lurve. Beckon Luther Vandross could teach the BMX Bandits a thing or two about lurve. In song, at least. Michael needs to get real rather than get nauseous and the Bandits need to get sweaty.
More than ever, the Bandits are getting soppy, or so if feels. Every song seems to be a paean to love of some description, but most are set to the same lolloping beat and politely iangling countryish guitar. There are some nice turns of arrangement, like
the swooning backing vocals on ‘love, Come To Me’ or the summery ﬂute that carries ‘The Audition’ off into the balmy atmosphere, but nothing really lifts your perception of the band beyond the one-dimensional.
Maybe some girls go for the doe-eyed complicity angle, but fourteen songs of spineless saccharine (and, it must be said, one gorgeous instrumental) later, and they’ll be running for something with a bit of spirit. Henry Rollins, maybe. There’s nothing wrong with finding your niche and sticking with it, but let ‘Gettin’ Dirty’ be a cautionary tale. Its one basic fault, which gives rise to all the other
. possible moans about it, is that the
songs this time are simply not up to
; scratch. (Fiona Shepherd)
ADAM ANT Wonderful (EMI)
‘Long ago in london Town, a man called Ant sat deeply thinking.’ Eighteen years, to be precise, since the thin young man who strutted King’s Road with the word ‘FUCK’ etched into his back by razor blade formed the original Ants. Three years later, he’d evolved from bondage and sexsong to become our finest pop- dramatist telly-being, a lucky-bag Bowie. I went to a fancy-dress party as Adam circa ‘Prince Charming’. So did about a dozen others. Juicy fruit lip- gloss.
It’s four years since Adam’s last
i i l l i i l
album, but, recently lauded by many of the music press’s current darlings, it’s been over a decade since he received this much attention. Nice to report, then, that ‘Wonderful’ isn’t half bad.
! Morrissey-mate Boz Boorer and long-
! time man Marco Pirroni conjure up the odd glam stomp for Adam to litter with those aah-ooh-ooh-oohs and woah-
‘ woahs he Cockney-croons so well, the . title track swoons with regret, and Adam still has a bit of a dirty mind -
the line ‘You’re my agony-nanny with your big-towel protection’ setting a panic in all our lingerie. Some duffers, sure, and it’d be good if Pirroni fired
up the spaghetti voodoo roar of yore, but, y’know, don’t tread on the Ant. He’s done nothing to you. (Damien
Swimming In The Horsepool (Marina) Late night, Maudlin Street. And when the candles are burning down and red wine is flowing through your veins instead of blood, ‘Swimming In The Horsepool’ could be the place you seek consolation. Comprising former Wild River Apple Gwen Stewart and ex- Love And Money guitarist/aspiring music mogul Douglas McIntyre, Sugartown present ten originals — written by different combinations of McIntyre, Stewart and Love And Money’s James Grant — and covers of The Velvet Underground’s ‘l’m Set Free’ and Willie Nelson’s ‘Valentine’. The touchstone is country, though
it’s probably not something the purist would want to add to his or her collection. There are plenty of those little heart-wrenching moments, but no rousing climaxes; iust Stewart’s inconsolable vocals in minimal settings that seem to generate stillness and emptiness, not noise. The more people who join in - like Ken McCluskey on plaintive harmonica or Mick Slaven on slide — the lonelier her voice appears.
Things perk up — a little - on ‘You’ll Still Be Calling My Hame’ but even that’s a sad one and it’s followed by a track whose refrain runs ‘Hey, hey, we threw it away/T his is the last beautiful day’. Sugartown’s natural constituency is the land of broken hearts, tears and regret. But they wear It well. (Alastair 5 Mabbott)
Is The Actor Happy? (Texas Hotel) Or: more songs about onion soup, Rupert Murdoch and the freakish nipples of doubting women. And this is the thing about Vic Chesnutt: when you hear one of his artfully-turned verses, you can never be quite sure if, or to what extent, he’s having you on. It keeps you on your toes, which is the best way to be when you can wallow in the great details of ‘Betty Lonely’ (a powerful, heartfelt song, with Chesnutt’s “scared little skifer group’
coming as close as they’re ever going
to get to Crazy Horse), and her duplex ! stucco set beside a brackish river, straight after confronting lines like ‘l’m a reluctant rebel/I lust want to be Aaron Heville’.
For such a cult figure, it seems that Vic’s voice has never been given its proper due. Similar to that of his fellow Athenian and former producer Michael Stipe but gralnier, darker, more intimate, it’s the voice of a man who’s been whacked around life’s squash court more than most, and knows how to get your attention. There’s more to Vic Chesnutt than a weird taste In headgear. He even manages to sneak thirteen tracks on to a CD that lists only eleven. What a wizard. (Alastair Mabbott)
48 The List 5-18 May 1995