I The Amps: Pacer (4A0) Imagine the sensation: you're listening to JAD‘s latest sampler. Track after track ofexquisite aural tapestry. exactly the kind of delicate ambience 4Al) has built its reputation on. But there's always been a kink somewhere in their roster. and Kim Deal is usually involved somewhere around this point. And then it comes bustin‘ out the speakers. a real unholy squall that sounds like it's been recorded in an outside toilet for 2p. It's The Amps contribution to the 4M) sampler. it's called 'limpty Glasses' and it's been slotted in right at the end so that those of a nervous disposition can stop before they get to it. But if you don't stop you get hooked and you have to have your Amps fix. You start to need cheesy trashy punk recorded with a minimum of fuss using basic studio techniques to get the most scum} feel. But it doesn‘t stop there. You start demanding vitiyl over Cl). You reject automated transport in favour of horse and trap. You replace currency w ith a bartering system. When will it all end‘.’ l’ut'er is back to basics big time. (Fiona Shepherd)

I Emmylou Harris: Wrecking Ball (Grapevine) ‘This is thy weird album] says limmylou. and. viewed from a country- folk perspective. she's darned right. More importantly. though. it's also a masterpiece. and that isjointly down to the singer's wonderfully evocative vocals, and Daniel l.anois's sparse. eerily attnospheric playing and production. This is a genuine collaboration. with Harris's expressive voice and distinctive phrasing firmly foregrounded. but with Lanois's trademark stamp equally unmistakable in the music. His treatments give the album a dark. almost mysterious unity of mood and effect. and if it is still rooted in a folk- country idiom. it is like nothing else in Harris‘s work. or in the genre. Neil Young sings backing vocals on two songs. his own title track and Lucinda Williams's 'Sweet Old World'. and Williams. Steve Earle and the McGarrigles contribute musically as well as providing songs. There are striking versions of Dylan‘s ‘Every Grain Of Sand' and Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘May This Be Love‘. both of which they re-make entirely in their own image. A remarkable record. Don‘t hesitate. (Kenny Mathieson)

ROCK l the shimmery ‘lto Okashi’, showcasing ' Japanese singer Holi, would stump all


Original Soundtracks 1 (Island) Untangling the disparate threads of Achtung Baby and Zooropa, Passengers are UZ plus Brian Eno, taking this opportunity to gather together tracks that were ‘auctioned off’ to filmmakers from Germany to Japan as soundtrack material.

While it’s too simplistic to say that the oblique strategist has wrested the wheel from the world-conquering rock band, the tone of Original Soundtracks 1 is unmistakably Eno-esque. It’s heavy on atmospherics and ambience: the percussive ‘One Minute Warning’ is My life In The Bush Of Ghosts fifteen years on; ‘Theme From The Swan’ is steadfastly minimalist. and



One Hot Minute (Warner Bros)

‘Meet me at the coffee shop, we can dance like Iggy Pop,’ they blather over a blethery, rubbery, fussy bassline. lt’s

; idiot funk-rock and no-one does it better than Red Hot Chili Peppers

(except Faith No More) (come to think

of it, are there any other funk-rock bands anywhere?). On the follow-up to

the planet-quaking

BIoodSugarSexMagik the Chilis play at

being the dumb cock-sock funsters of

yore, but only as brief buck-naked

relief from the task of being visionary rawk saviours. The kind of rawk saviours who like to

comers in a blindfold test. And those i tracks which are recognisable as 02 I are mainly stripped-down grooves with ) Bono close-miked, reducing further l his dwindling propensity for vocal ' histrionics. The most obvious U2 track and emotional centrepiece of the album is ‘Miss Sarajevo’, and if Pavarotti guesting on a rock song is a hideous prospect, you should hear how he sounds backed by The Edge’s ‘One’- like riff before making judgements. Released as a 02 album, this would have furthered the band’s declared intention to ‘fuck up the mainstream’, but perhaps emulating the film soundtrack exploits of late-60$ Pink Floyd is radical enough for them, for now. (Alastair Mabbott)


Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

7 (Nut)

l Stating the obvious corner: this is a ll long album, so it requires a long . attention span, one which most self- ) obsessed bedsit types don’t possess because they’re too busy being introspective. But self-obsessed é bedsit types were made for the Pumpkins, perhaps more than the j Pumpkins were made for them. Both 5 understand what it is to be negatively ( self-indulgent. And at two hours and g 28 tracks long, the Smashing 5 Pumpkins’ third album is a monument g to self-indulgence. What were the band thinking of? Don’t they know that angst-ridden

show their range by: including the obligatory bruising bulldozer epic in the shape of ‘One Big Mob’ (you know the score - huge mob-vocals, guttural chanting, frantic fretwork, wee quiet bit, then more, more, MORE rock mayhem); a pensive, contemplative ballad like ‘Pea’, wherein Anthony, Flea, Chad and the frankly satanic- looking Dave Navarro get to show their musical chops and, you know, artistic side; and a weird pop bit, ‘Aeroplane’, which sees The Red Hot Chili Peppers rope in a gang of kids for massed backing vocals and a bit of classic- ness 3 la The Stones and ABBA (mebbe) but just end up with something as unsettling as the child- catcher in Ohitfy Chitty Bang Bang.

Hey, just the same as Faith No More’s last album. Neat. (Craig McLean)


l _

I Different Class (Island)

, Contrary to advance reports, sex doesn’t take a back seat (pun definitely intended) on the follow-up to His ’n’ Hers. On Different Class, it’s

l seedier, it’s more dangerous and it’s

3 even more ubiquitous. The battle lines

are drawn in the opening ‘Mis-

Shapes’: the misfits are coming out

I from the sidelines and wreaking their

1 revenge on the straights by giving

| their wives the rogering of a lifetime. Jarv is on superlative lyrical form, but

perhaps lacking a little candour. They won’t use guns, they won’t use knives,

t but these rejects are happy to wage

-- Afis closet poets would rather listen to, say, half an hour of the Pumpkins, followed by maybe the same of Morrissey, a few bursts of Therapy? and then round off with a couple of leonard Cohen albums rather than sit through two hours of the same grinding guitars and whining vocals?

As usual, Billy Corgan’s belief in his art manages to pervade the entire, ultimately wearying project. Yet again, the group were on the verge of splitting through its traumatic gestation. It means a helluva lot to him, but it sounds like how you would imagine any sprawling, incontinent album to sound - some real metal goers, a couple of piano ballady ones and some poppy grungers, with nothing that particularly sticks out. You want to love this band to bits, but they make it so damn hard. (Fiona Shepherd)

the class war with their dicks. As his confidence grows, there’s more than just a shade of the sinister emerging about Britain’s latest favourite pop star.

Behind the singer, the rest of Pulp are top-notch, whether floating off on a cloud of elegant tack or nailing down a groove like the E Street Band gone disco. There are enough gaps between climaxes on here to let us catch our breath, but that’s about it. Are we talking about a classic on the level of Horses, low and Blonde On Blonde’.’ For tonight, yes. In the morning, once it’s worn off, we might see Different Class in a different light. But, as ‘Sorted’ asks, what it we never come down? (Alastair Mabbott)

38 The List 3-l6 Nov 1995