MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
Singles galore! Fiona Shepherd can’t believe herluck!
Spring is in the air so a young girl turns her attention to. . . the latest emanations from the Creeping Bent stable. For Adventures In Stereo. the latest from Spirea X man Jim Beattie. imagine Phil Spector and the (ills girl groups relocated to 90s Glasgow on a balmy summer day . . . nah. on second thoughts. just buy the 4-lt'ack Iil’. It’s cool and fresh like fabric conditioner. Labelmates The Secret Goldtish have produced their best yet. with ‘C‘ome Undone'. a carefree but surefooted item. a bit like Julie Christie in ‘Billy l.iat".
Hypnotic dubby funky vibrations from the underground come in the shape of Future Pilot AKA's ‘World Wide Web (\r'ia Satellite). sis brief bursts of interesting studio cut-and-paste courtesy of Sushil K l)ade. some Bellshill chums and the eccentric Jowe llead. Curiouser still is the tlipsitlc Mount Vernon Arts lab contribution. a bedroom demo from l‘)75. Was this the birth of Glasgow's io-fi scene'.’ Dunno. bttt Urusei Yatsura are certainly advancing the cause with the deadpan ‘Kewpies Like Watermelons' (Che). their first number you can singalonga without running out of breath by the third line. Then there's Mogwai’s debut ‘Tuner'/‘l.ower' (Rock Action Records). ()ne side is slow and broody! The other is fast and furious sonic riffology! Can‘t remember which is which!
The probable idea with The Telstar Ponies‘ indulgent thirteen-minute ‘l)oes Your Heart llave Wings‘." (Fire) is that you lose yourself in the ebb and flow of low-ﬂying experimental rumblings and white noise. but for all its traditional Britpop leanings. I'd rather hear The Gyres‘ confident ‘Pop Cop‘ (Sugar) three times over instead.
Ricky ROSS has been a busy boy since the demise of Deacon Blue. His first solo fruit is a sprightly big-open-spaces roots rocker called ‘Radio ()n' (lipic). lidinburgh snowboarding enthusiasts Blind debut with an indie- ish approximation of the same feeling on ‘l)reaming' (Sister Records) while from the same neck of the wood _ (IIIM tIlIM deliver a Soundgarden-like rock ballad ‘Bigger Than Sex‘ (Avalanche) which is passionate but not overblown.
[EEC— roM VERLAINE
The Miller’s Tale: A Torn Verlaine Anthology (Virgin)
‘Never the rose without the prick, ’ sang Tom Verlaine once, in a moment at laudable selt-awareness. For so it was that to appreciate the transcendent glory ot Verlaine the guitarist, and enjoy the supple, organic swing at his band, the revelatory late-70s combo Television, you had to endure a trontman who wrote such ghastly lyrics that the tact he couldn’t sing tor tottee came as a blessed reliet. That Verlaine knew it all along became evident in 1992,
when he elected to hush his mouth tor once and release an all-instrumental album, Warm And Cool - on Rough Trade, so no tracks are included here.
What we do have are two (ills, the first comprising a 1982 gig in which old Television taves buttress early solo material, and a second ‘best ot’ CD, which runs through his various solo projects until the band’s 1992 comeback. In between lies a canon of strangely introverted dynamism, generously endowed with stratospheric ﬂights at six-string sinuosity. Everyone should at least get the chance to become tamiliar with this stutt, the cream at a man who understood rock music well enough to leave it transtormed in his wake. (Alastair Mabbott)
Northern Uproar (Heavenly)
Here they come, barrelling down the M6 in their Transit to show these sott southern putts a thing or two. ‘I’m a rough hoy,’they chant, but it’s all a tront, as is the rabble-rousing name. llorthern Uproar are romantics at heart, and too young to come across as mawkish, just natural.
Their album kicks ott with the Top Twenty single ‘From A Window’ (teaturing the perennial declaration ot rock’n’roll immortality ‘I don’t care’ and a guitar solo that’s touched by the
' hand at The Only Ones) and delivers
eleven more nuggets that will satisty everyone who thought llorthern Uproar’s debut on Top 0! The Pops was the most invigorating moment on the show tor ages.
So we get a whole bunch ot anthemic boy-girl songs and one boy-boy song, ‘living In The Red’, and barring a few piano overdubs (and strings - strings! - on the monosyllabically-titled ‘Town’), no trills have been deemed necessary. The lads just lock around a ritt and rough it up a bit betore proceeding to the next. Not even Northern Uproar’s tender years can make this stutt sound new, but they can inject it with enough vim to scour your surtaces spotless. (Alastair Mabbott)
TRICKY Nearly God (Island)
the alter ego ot the man who made one at the best albums at 1995 in Maxinquaye, is very strange indeed, and Nearly God is quite unlike anything else you will hear this year. Recorded in just two and a halt weeks, this liquidised assortment ot demos with various guests is very Tricky. It you thought ‘Attermath’ was abstract then take a large chisel and an electronic sander to it and you may just be close to what he’s trying to do on Nearly God.
This codeine-induced cocktail is tor the main part incredibly minimalistic, with the opening and closing shots being particularly impenetrable. There are however some stunning moments. llis tirst duet with Bjiirk, ‘Keep Your Mouth Shut’ is a quite awesome display at opulence and horror. Subsequent exchanges with Alison Moyet and Martina, on ‘Make A Change’ and ‘Black Cottee’ respectively, only entorce the theory that this is a man ahead ot his time. Musically and production wise it’s not as tight as you might expect but the sheer audacity at it all makes it engaging, and well worth a listen. Whether you would want to shell out money tor some nightmares on wax is another matter. (Philip Durward)
. 5‘ .. y,”
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Evil Empire (Epic)
It’s not really clear whether Rage Against The Machine actually believe the highly tlammable rock/rap genre is a mighty instrument tor change or just the best ass-kicking channel they’ve tound tor venting their mounting political ire. The portentoust-named Evil Empire does sound at times, when you can penetrate Zack De La Rocha’s huttlng-and-putting raps, like an Amnesty International report set to corruscating guitar music with the band striding outraged across Central America recording abuses perpetrated
by the system (the general one they’re raging against), then screaming in we’re-not-going-to-take-it-anymore
, desperate tones. Still, it one baggy T-
shirted, trainer-sporting, trenetically- moshing tan pauses tor thought, then picks up a pen in the name at a prisoner ot conscience, it’s been a worthwhile exercise.
Musically, there are reasons to bail this album (two reasons actually, one called ‘Revolver’ and the other ‘Snakecharrner’, swinging Rendrixy colossi both) but there’s also a sense that prior visitations have packed more clout. Many ot the tracks go tor the clipped hardcore Rollins Band- type approach when they could be going seriously haywire with the rhythm. Maybe hate, as much as love, comes in spurts. (Fiona Shepherd)
40 The List l9 Apr-2 May I996