im— Black is back

Black Sabbath re-release their back catalogue? You may well laugh. But you shouldn‘t. More than the less humorous Led Zeppelin. they laid the foundations for much of the music we hear today. An exaggeration? Listen to any of the lirst sis albums and hear a genuinely innovative group pushing their particular sound-world to the limit. Never before had the rock guitar been used to such relentless. percussive effect as on those early recordings: crushing. zero-gravity ril‘l'agc and gurgling bass lines all topped with ()sbourne‘s inimitable piercing whine. ‘Paranoid‘ is the well-known hit. btit ‘Master ol~ Reality" was the zenith of their heaviness. with the bowel-quakng ‘lnto The \‘oid' at its epicentre. Alternately. ill/.4 was varied and experimental. and contains their most beautiful passages: ‘(‘hanges‘. and the cocaine-induced misery of ‘Sttowblindf Their legacy is manifold. Most

obviously. their sound has been endlessly replicated ever since. from the relatively conservative grind of Metallica to the tediotts death metal of Slayer. Sabbath's sortie tetnplate has never been improved: they provided instant definition of a sound that could only be recycled. However. more embarrassingly. the pomp and guitar- solo hell of their later. post-()Hy incarnations was responsible for the likes ol~ Poison and Iron Maiden.

sees the band refining thei

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More importantly. they helped change the thematic rules of rock. ()//.y managed to avoid the more repulsive coek-rockisms of. say. Robert Plant. and instead concentrated solely on war. insanity and emotional dislocation. Doom and disorder could now be legitimately handled by rock bands. In many ways. they were the Joy Division of the early 70s. and its impossible to imagine Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins without them.

They may have had a stupid name and dubious satanic overtones. but they were one of our tnost seminal bands. and these lovingly restored and repackaged reissues should help place them lirmly in the lauded bracket ol‘ their hipper contemporaries. Just stick to the early 70s. the Day years. and suspend your prejudice. (Phil Miller)

mare:- Wired down


Underworld’s debut lP Dubnobasswithmyheadman shattered dance music. Two years on and the band’s eagerly awaited follow-up Second toughest in the infants (Junior Boys Own) is surrounded by the inevitable hype. No one ever said it was going to be easy - well, not this easy anyway. ‘It hasn’t been that difficult actually,’ laughs irontman Karl Hyde, ‘mainly because we haven’t

it since doing the first record.’ 80

second album then.

And what an album it is. True to term, they’ve kicked down more barriers. Out go the more mundane elements of four-to-the-floor techno and in comes the seductive and powerful collision

of drum and bass. ‘We were just getting frustrated by ordinary techno

l beats when Howie B [soon-to-be

legendary Glaswegian trip hop producer] took Rick [Underwold geezer] to RAW [top London jungle club] where he got very excited about this new kind of groove that he’d heard.’ And yet, just as l was thinking that Underworld were guilty of riding on the jungle wave Karl jumps in. ‘This is not a jungle record just as we’re not a jungle band if there is such a thing. We’re just into it because it’s so new and exciting.’

really had time to stop and think about

there goes the myth about the difficult

Underworld: ‘we can be and do anything we want.’

Check the record it you don’t believe him. Alongside the techno-jungle fusion (‘Barnstyle’) there’s a unique and chaotic mish-mash at real music, from slow, melancholy (sub) urban blues (‘Stagger’), to flying, tulI-on nutty techno (‘iiowla’) and weird, wired vocal breakbeat (‘Pearl’s Girl’). There’s a real sense of pushing modern music to its limit. ’l’ve always been inspired by Miles Davis and virtuoso musicians and the way that they can take a theme and run with it. That’s the kind of band we are. We’re totally tree of constraints and we can be and do anything we want. That’s why Underworld are unique.’ (Jim Byers)

Second toughest in the infants (Junior Boys Own) is released on 11 Mar. Underworld play Barrowland Glasgow on Fri Mar 15.

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Waverley Centre. Edinburgh,

0131 557 4694

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Kingdom Centre. Glenrothes,

01592 611301



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The List 8-21 Mar 1996 35