Life is but a crack of light between two eternlties of darkness, but, you know, that doesn’t mean that Damien Love won’t listen to the new releases, pet. Big Wednesday are Glaswegian surf fetishists. which sounds promising. Their single has the positively filthy sounding title ‘Sliding in like McGrain' (Gravity Records) which is even more promising. Unfortunately. they’re actually about as pervy as the Big Dish. and the song ends with the lines ‘Hoping there’s a God.‘ which is downright unforgivable.

Less salubrious. pleased to say. are Tumblers. whose ‘E.E.S.' (Musical Fidelity) is produced by Telstar Pony David Keenan. Despite a bass line which is uncomfortably close to U2's ‘New Year‘s Day'. the single shares the same sparse empty twilight of the Cure’s ‘Three imaginary Boys'. with the vocals especially seeming to have been recorded in special isolato-sound.

Staying in Glasgow. here's your chance to hear what all the fuss is about. madame, with Dis’ ‘Secret Vampire Soundtrack‘ EP (Chemikal Underground). Trumpton and sugar put in .a blender with just the right amount of broken glass and nasty bodily secretions.

Magic Bus who provide ‘Superglue' (Round Records) wouldn’t sound out of place supporting Supergrass, if that's your thing, nice one-note piano, cod-mod vocals and a pleasantly annoying guitar figure. but nothing to write home about.

He-who-started-it-all, they say, Hm Collins’ ‘Keep On Burning’ (Setanta) is the absolute business. absolutely demanding to be played at neighbour hating volume, with the same fabulously analogue and Northern Soul checking sounds of ‘A Git)! Lillkift YIN.”- Worth buying for Ed’s take on the mighty Vic Godard’s ‘Won't Turn Back’ alone.

Away from these bonnie shores though, for DJ Krush. ‘Meiso‘ (Mo' Wax) presents a version of the track spatially remixed by his great mucker DJ Shadow, a sinister big time old time environment, where the

- hop don‘t trip. but resolutely hips, and last up. someone else you haven’t heard of. "I, who operate in the same arena as Tortoise. ‘The Sharpie‘ (Soul Static Sound) is all repetition, evolution, time and space. Slowly busy. with bass patterns and distorted guitar stretches,

, the embracement of maturity by the



Set the Twilight Reeling (Warner Bros.)

Following the themed conceptions of his previous three albums, Set the Twilight Reeling at first seems like a return to a simple collection of songs for Lou lieed. A few listens later, however, and the nagging feeling arises that this isn’t exactly the case - the record is in fact concerned with

artist, not as an unavoidable end, but , as a means. Lyrics dealing with the acknowledgement of emotion and the l persistence of memory dominate proceedings.

Musically, while indulging Reed’s

( to Hookywooky with anyone would’ve

love for simple rock ’n’ roll forms, there are nods to past works such as I The Blue Mask and the largely underrated New Sensations, perhaps due to the reappearance of Fernando Saunders, whose unique bass textures distinguished those records. If there’s one solitary moment by which to recommend this album, ‘Hang on to Your Emotions’ is it. Revisiting the spartan melody of ‘liide into the Sun’ from New Sensations, with a simple 1 and understated lyric, and a careful vocal performance, this is right up there on the compilation tape for staring out of city windows at dawn. Once, the idea of Lou Reed wanting

been downright scary. How, well, you can almost imagine him giving Laurie ; Anderson a hug. For the moment. ; (Damien Lovel i

Tarantula (Creation)

So here it is, the sound of a band breaking apart. They say you could almost see The Byrds splitting up on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival. New their English antecedents are going one step further, by splitting up, then putting out one final album which will only be on the shelves for one week and will then be deleted.

And how does the art of falling apart sound? Remarkably harmonious, actually, until you realise that guitarist/vocalist Andy Bell (the blond one) has written practically all the album, so it barely constitutes a band recording. Vocalist/guitarist Mark

Gardener (the brunette one, generally identified as the lead singer during the band’s early 90s heyday) makes one songwriting contribution and two defiant-sounding vocals, which he insisted on recording in New York. Hey, transatlantic trauma!

Unlike Take That, Hide are not going out on top. While the world warms its hands against their Iabelmates Oasis, Hide back out unobtrusively, which is a shame because if this was a debut album it would be poised to create significant ripples. The eclectic, barefaced influences on their last album have been refined for this one and, alongside the more blatant Hendrix/Small Faces-inspired tracks, there’s a healthy integration of droney punk attitude such as single ‘Black Hite Crash’. A fond farewell. (Fiona Shepherd)

IGCY POP Ilaughty little Doggy (Virgin)

Musical lads and fashions come and go but Iggy Pop remains the same bad- assed, throaty old bundle of attitude that first screamed its way out of Detroit in the 603. And er, that’s just about it. Which isn’t necessarily-a bad thing. The lyrical concerns still centre on the dubious delights of vacuous partying and chasing what Mr Pop, no doubt sniggering in the face of fashion, calls pussy. But hey, that’s the distilled essence of rock ’n’ roll, and besides, a few more candles on

weary and hard-learned reticence as to trusting either corporate business or being tempted by the treacherous allure of the needle.

Musically the man continues to swagger his way through the grimier underbelly of rock. ‘Pussy Walk’ (no cigar for guessing what this one is about) struts along cockin with a iaunty swing that is complemented by the lgster’s straight-faced delivery, while ‘Heart Is Saved’ will provoke moshpits wherever it is unleashed. The acoustic ‘Shoeshine Cirl’ even demonstrates a rare and refined delicacy but the remaining seven tracks are competent rather than inspired or inflammatory. The probation officer’s report would read ‘llot bad. Could do better.’ (Jonathan Trew) I

his birthday cake have imbued a


life Is Sweet (Geffen)

Maria Mcllee could probably have settled into a lucrative career cloning her 1990 mega-hit ‘Show Me Heaven’ on the stadium rock circuit, so it is to her enduring credit that this album . takes off in quite different directions ; most of the time. The problem with it though, is that it may be pulling in too 1 many of those directions all at once. She has opted for a rougher sound I most of the way, often overlaid with a dense unison string section, and if there is a contender for a big single

here, it has to be the title track, but I suspect even it is a little too left-field. The opening cut, ‘Scarlover’, stops off in Seattle to pick up liberal slabs of grunge guitar, the angst-ridden ‘l’m llot Listening’ recalls Patti Smith’s driven pleading in places, while the quirky melody of ‘Everybody’ has a flavour of vintage Talking Heads. What ultimately pulls an intriguing collection of songs and styles together is McKee herself. She has a strong, arresting voice with an effectively fragile edge, and understands how to build powerful patterns of tension and release within a song, without simply hamming it up.

(Kenny Mathieson)

(38 The List 8-21 Mar 1996