m Dap (first heard on Gangstarr’s ‘Daily Operation’) and his partner in rhyme

Philip Domafd STOPS GROUP HOME I Melachi The Nutcracker. 1

mmng his eggs long ' ' t 1 Stand out tracks are the sin le ‘Su a i "m" t" "m "p "it" mim- Praaflpayday) - i Star’ which blew up big stylegboth p this issue’s singles. This is one of the best hip hop LPs of t

sides of the Atlantic earlier this year, and ‘2 Thousand’ with its funked up

5 Issac Hayes sample cutting in and out of the mix while lil Dap and The Nutcracker shatter hip hop’s perceived negativism with their ‘95 is yours, 2000 is mine, we’re walking through the ghetto and the feeling is fine’ refrain positively flipping the notion that their brothers ain’t got no hope. 1 Plus, as a bonus there’s none of the i tedious guns ’n’ bitches rap that pervades much of hip hop culture. (Jim Byers‘, l "

the year so far, which is no mean feat when you consider the recent releases from seasoned old skoolers like Eric Sermon and LL Cool J, not to mention healthy cuts from 2 Pac and Busta Rhymes. Mind you, with additional production credits courtesy of DJ Premier and Guru from the legendary Gangstarr, what can you expect?

It’s dark and dynamic East Coast style from start to finish, combining

:. t. v short, snatched samples with . [sky mm coo menacing and meaningful rapping from the weirdly expressive lisping Lil

Easter is a time for glorious resurrections. but not for seminal Two Tone outfit The Specials whose return is less than divine. ‘Pressure Drop's' (Kttf't‘)

{influences and echoes. The band are j happily at home with the crisp pop

bouncy ragga l'eel whif'f‘s ,hook at a song like rAnswer Mei the of a puh band. 'l‘ime i much dirtier, grungier feel of ‘The gentlemen. please. Still . . f , . . . with m) Terry “a” Mm Nature (Virgin) ; Heater , or the taneg guitar and quirky

New Zealand roots rockers The Mutton {refrain of ‘Giant Friend’.

can you expect. lie is . . o . . Birds are widely tipped to follow in the That song, in common with a number

currently sandwiched

between Trick y and footsteps of fellow antipodeans § of singer and principal songwriter Don Martina in a musical Crowded House, and Nature is an j McGIashan’s creations, betrays a dark CXPCF i016”! 90”“ 5‘01"“! impressive, it slightly derivative, ' underside lurking beneath its breezy

GOd- “5‘9" " “'w calling card. A re-mastered - melody. It is heard again in songs like

associated with chicks hut for Tricky it seems to he about cold turkey. as ‘Poeiiis' (Durban Poison) wallows in methadone melanchon It's still pretty cool though.

Nearly the son of God is ‘MC ()(Xllt Jesus”. AKA Mark (irif‘t‘iu. This three year old track is also back from the dead. courtesy of the Levi's ‘hlind man in the washrooiit' advert.

compilation of songs from their two NZ , the REM-ish ‘A Thing Well Made’, releases, it places them firmly in the about guns, or ‘0ueen’s English’, about kind of rootsy territory once occupied suppression of minority cultures. All by early REM. good stuff, but it will be their next

The band (named after a species of ; studio album which may reveal kiwi gull) don’t fall neatly into a single f whether they have the capacity to category, however, and Nature is a ; take their music much beyond their varied set, criss-crossed with a web of influences. (Kenny Mathieson)

. . times with tight dynamic U-turns I With its sweaty )a/J. and : - t - i . swift shitting bass feel. i Impressef' Sp" on You and the . .Famng Elevators. Luckytpattaphone) . tortured Face To Face’ both daze with (Nettwork) is the type of Skin have returned to save traditional = their sheer aggressive momentum. In stuff you might expect to hard rock. They follow the rules of the 3 general, however, the familiar failings

accompany it 1960* old rock orthodoxy to the letter, and it (show: Neville MacDonald’s hoarse C"Pmnc‘m' H”- F"°““‘i-‘ is a popular formula: their debut ( bellow covers everything in a sheen of $938? figm” album sold by the bucket-load, daft hubris, the orchestrated ‘Escape Mum ci'thcr is? a reassuring perennial hair-guitar fans iFrom Reality’ IS.knee-Ca.PP8d by its mungm track by 3 mm, that the new rock consensus of Pearl EBXCIUCIatIDQ lyrical P'atliudes- messiah called .i'ayn' Jam et al hadn’t moved the musical The best In melt flow breathes 00 Hanna. Personally he not and thematic goalposts permanently. Either a supply 0' sen'hatfed 0'

felt as good about a single 4 Taken on its own merits, however, ,winking classicism. "’8 a music that’s whiteodiva since Cathy Lucky is depressineg old-fashioned, had its excesses limit“ by Punk 3"" .Dc'f'l‘f‘; “hm”? d"““°d even though Skin have rightly done (it’s CUlthal dominance "39'3ch by as:kgggoquflc ‘3‘“ l away with any masturbatory 1 dance. Skin, therefore, despite their .LOVCMH, “38:22:38 musicianship, any “mm at sexism at obvious efforts, are too musically good asianvthing from BT I spandex- InSteadr Skin P'elel backwa'd to appeal to a larger

or Goldie. stitilfit won’t i positivity and resolute hard rocking. audience beyond the grateful trad- i

hook-laden ‘Calil‘ornia Love‘ (Death Row) which is the bad cop to (‘oolio's good cop ‘Gangsta Paradise‘. Still with

be as large as 2 l’ac's Occasionally, the sheer force of the 3lock hordes. (Phil Miller)

narcissism and twirling 605 shapes of ‘Magic Streets’ to the acoustic strains

frienth like Snom ‘Qui i of final track ‘Parallel Lines’, this is a "10V Wiley “Oi-“.1 and " SHED simply joyous record. A glint of

Dr ‘Don‘t luck with nie‘ ( A Maximum Nigh (Polydor) sunshine in the early morning, a Bigfglgllfii‘:‘fflfigfmig 5 Side-stepping that difficult second snatch of Shed Seven on your alarm The 'Muéiara‘se‘eds Wing album syndrome, Shed Seven claim to clock radio and Spring is here. All is

a spicy “me We 0,. I‘m ~ ; have gone on and made their third swell in the world. Where the Boo wcmh'cr that‘s. my t instead. And, in the words of a wise Radleys banished the blues last year, wean-tat, in it, nick“), man (well, I think it was Barry the Sheds chase them out of town this. ‘Cats and Dogs‘ tl-Ltleli' Norman), why not? Rick Witter and Granted, Witter’s lyrics are hardly starts off with a spaneg friends have a way in just three and a Martin Amis, but you can be too clever guitar (C Robin Guthrie) half minutes of spinning a spell that sometimes (can’t you Mr Cocker?). before "‘93" NW 3’0)” can have the most casual of listeners And ‘Going For Gold’ has been

ears with an angst ridden

Chorus ofdmmmu “.5 ' feeling like a liquered-up leprechaun described by those with. hmm.

a“ enough ,0 send mu m on St Patrick’s Day. . . suspicious minds as rather

Staapetts (m, popbv From the tagged guitars, twiddly reminiscent of an Elws tune. Mere Sale or the dawns psychedelic bits and polished brass of quibbles. A Maximum High is every bit (Indolent). ‘Getting Better’ through the epic a sheer delight. (Rodger Evans)

35 The List 5-18 Apr 1996