MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
A hunk-a hunk-a burnin’ love he may be, but even Alastair Mabbott has to cool off to review the new releases sometime.
We've called Dominic Waxing lyrical a mad fucker in the past. and ‘Victoria’ (Bosquc) gives us no reason to stop now. If Brecht and Weill had lived in Tudor England. with a heavy ergot habit to feed. they might have come up with something like these manic warbles. accompanied by strings. drums and something that sounds suspiciously like a mandolin. He‘s a cult lave in Holland. and will Come across as an oddball to most of the rest of the world. but that can't disguise the serious intent behind this record. liven if‘ you can feel I)om's eyes following you around the room when you play it.
Eska‘s ‘Truck And Paving' is on Glasgow band Uresei Yatsura's Modern Independent label. and only 500 are being pressed. so form an orderly queue. This young bands (they get to drink legally this month) main inﬂuences hail from across the pond. with Mascis-like draw] and Pixies echoes prominent in a mid-ii mix. lt'll have you inching towards the edge of your seat.
Yellow Car are more a case of in-yer-l‘ace power pop of the late 70s variety. but don‘t sound out of place in the Supergrass 90s. A nation wants to buy ‘Why Did You Go (Gift Of Life) they just don't know it yet. liven il‘ the lead track docs commemorate Bonnie Prince Charlie's escapades at Glenlinnan ZSI) years ago.
After noting the quantity of' vinyl in the postbag this time. only a cad would ignore the turquoise vista that is Joe Nation‘s- . . . erm. ‘Joe Nation' (Chill Out). ()nly a foot wide. but this lurid piece of green plastic dominates any setting. and it all seems strangely appropriate when you slip it on and find an insistent reggae rhythm providing a mattress for squeaks. bleeps and all manner of tomfoolery to bounce around on. I like it. but what do I know — I'm still reeling from Elvis‘s rendition of ‘The Twelfth Of Never’ (RCA). a rehearsal tape unearthed from the vaults. In its unfinished state its sadly no match for the bonus tracks. ‘Walk In My Shoes' and ‘Burning Love'. which go closer to providing that sense of ecstatic wonder which is a crucial part of any Elvis experience.
i l l
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND Peel Slowly And See (Polydor)
‘Modern music,’ wrote Lester Bangs, ‘begins with the Velvets . . . The implications seem to go on forever.’ A statement which, by its concise nature, glints from among the detritus of myth and opinion encasing the band. The thing about the Velvets, though, is that their very greatness, that which caused so many to leap into the sound and extrapolate their own conclusions in the first place, can paradoxically eclipse just how great they were. The Velvet Underground? Epochal, yeah. Seminal, influential, inspirational, sure. It’s almost a cliche but when you find yourself actually listening to them again it’s almost shocking to rediscover that, away from the weight of reputation, they still sound fantastic and speak directly to the heart. How in the world were they making that sound?
Peel Slowly. . . , a luxuriously packaged five-CD boxed set, presents just such an opportunity for listening
again and, with the inclusion of the
many previously (officially) unreleased
demos and live tracks which serve to frame the studio albums,
simultaneously acts as documentary
on the band’s evolution.
Almost predictably with this band, the set poses more questions than it provides answers. What, for example, transpired between John Gale’s ludlow Street loft and Warhol’s
Factory to mutate the halting,
medieval ‘Scarborough Fair’ lament of ‘Venus In Furs’ or the spiked folk of
1 ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ into the raging stately majesty evinced on the ‘banana’ album? What happened to
the pop sensibility and kazoo breaks of the White Light . . . demos, lost to the glorious brutalism of the album
proper? What if the attempted Reed/
Cale reconciliation suggested by the 1970 take of ‘Ocean’ had paid off? Is this, finally, ‘Sweet Jane’ as God intended? no hymns come closer than ‘iiide Into The Sun’?
Sadly, we’ll never get to see Sterling
Morrison launch into his ‘Rock And ' Boll’ solo again, but you know that it’s , going to live forever. It’s nearly
Christmas. Indulge yourself. (Damien
K D LANG
7 old-world passion.
All You Can Eat(Warner Bros)
The angel with a lariat, the big-boned gal from southern Alberta, has come a , long way. With Ingenue the kathy
‘ dawn of gingham skirts and foot-
l stomping country music was replaced i by a cooler, classier model, singing
( monochrome love-notes and oozing
3 wan All You can Eat the
: transformation is complete, the torch
. has overcome the twang. In the
i process, that ‘cool’ and ‘class’ have replaced brio and sass. All You Can
5 Eat is a tasteful album, impeccably so. Numbingly so. lang’s curvey, creamy
m l voice dips and soars, the band are ' heaven’s lounge act, the songs are
3 keenly-felt and emotionally-candid - but good grief, it’s duller than a puddle and, too often, only half as deep.
In isolation, ‘If I Were You’ and ‘World Of love’ are gem-like songs, sketches in fragile melancholy that trip off the Iang tongue with practised ease. However, bracketed by eight other songs of the exactly the same tempo and timbre, the initial wonder quickly fades. Before you know it the record is finished. Tragic, in every sense of the word.
It’s as if, having hanged herself with the bare-hearted on-her-sleeve ingenue, k d Iang has nothing left to say except bald, not hold, love notes. (Craig McLean)
THE TELSTAR PDNIES
In The Space 0! A Few Minutes (Fire)
I In the space of a few minutes, The
Telstar Ponies can move from strumming a chord insistently to . . . strumming the same chord insistently with a bit of feedback to denote the chaos behind the seemingly rigid structure of the individual track, or something. In the space of a few tracks, they can draw on the sound influence of Sonic Youth, Stereolab and John Barry, and yes, you should be interested.
Interested, intrigued but not always convinced. They’re not like other bands from Glasgow, they say. True
i enough. But they are very similar to a
band from Edinburgh — The Nectarine No 9, with whom they share a wilfulness, a soupcon of pretension, a mostly imaginative use of guitars and V slower tempos, and the tendency to
; add a ‘spoken word’ element to some i tracks.
The breadth of Imagination in this debut is made more striking when you consider the band’s ignominious birth as a ponderous slacker indie band featuring weel-kent Glasgow faces who were subsequently swapped for erstwhile Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O’Hare who gets to bash those drums pretty damn hard, but owing to the dark, completely unchummy nature of Telstar Ponies music will hopefully not feel the need to turn his role into a cabaret turn as before.
Anyway, concluding paragraph says: investigate. (Fiona Shepherd)
40 The List 20 (ch 7. .\'o\ l‘iilﬁ