Alastair Mabbott squeezes the new releases until the pips squeak.

He is the Eggman. aka SlCC from The lint) Radleys. singing his own songs for the first time rather than those of bandmate Martin ('arr. And the result. ‘Not Bad linougli‘ (Creation). is piercineg discordant and not a pleasant thing at all. I await the extended remix. with all guitar excised, ln its current

psychedelic drone really is bad enough. Simon Bonney made his modest name in (‘rime And The City Solution. a far less

fortn. this shuffling. semi-

celebrated group than The Boo Radleys. but his solo offering is sumptuous. bringing trumpets. pedal steel and a Bryan Ferry- like poise to the epic stylings of ‘l)on't Walk Away lirom l.o\'c‘ (Mute). Glen Nlatlock's- name will forever be lillkc‘tl with the hand he helped form in the mid-70s. and is now about to take on the road


To The Faithful Departed (Island)

An album dedicated to ‘all those who to be a bundle of laughs, but then styles herself following her marriage to tour manager Don Burton) is not a

great one for frivolities. Unlike most

Sea, The Cranberries hit big in the USA, where American audiences took

l derived power pop and Dolores’ 3 earnest philosophising on life, love

i and the state of the world before they

have gone before us’ doesn’t promise

Dolores D’Biordan Burton (as she now

of their Britpop peers across the Irish

to their melodic, Sinead O’Connor/U2-

made a comparable impact over here. The musical formula hasn’t changed much, with the singer swooping and diving through her considerable vocal range over Noel Hogan’s nervy guitar rifting, underpinned by Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler’s driving bass and drums. They have gone for a heavyweight rock producer in Bruce Fairbairn, and currently hot orchestrator Michael Kamen is wheeled in to add his trademark touch, most effectively on the beguiling, folk-ish ballad ‘War Child’. The songs are not as dreary as the album’s theme might suggest, although Dolores’ solemn but sincere efforts to set the world to rights will

2 either inspire or exasperate, . . according to taste. (Kenny Mathieson)


Golden Heart (Mercury)

Mark Knopfler’s first real solo album has been a long time coming, and it not exactly earth-shattering, it should please both established fans and those who, like me, think he is a damned decent guitar player, but who found just about everything Dire Straits did after ‘Sultans of Swing’ a tad okay, 3 lot - on the tedious side. Knopfler touches a number of bases in the course of fourteen new songs.

and Ray’ to the rollicking, reverbed ‘Don’t You Get It’.

More interestingly, he has been hanging out in Nashville a lot, and that Southern influence is reflected on tracks like the shuffling ‘Cannibals’, featuring Jo-El Sonnier on accordion, the Cajun-flavoured ‘Je Suis Desole’, with Sonny Landreth pitching in some haunting National steel guitar, or the country ballad ‘Are We In Trouble Now’, with added vocal support from Vince Gill.

By contrast, ‘Darling Pretty’, ‘A Night In Summer Long Ago’ and ‘Done With Bonaparte’ draw on his early immersion in folk, with contributions

again. btit judging from his solo ‘My Little Philistine’ (Creation) he hasn't moved on. musically. since around 1979. Maria McKee throws everything but the kitchen sink into ‘This Perfect Dress‘ (Geffen) but forgot about the basic ingredient of a decent song. Shame. She might have been better off borrowing the concise and poppy ‘Maybe In Time'

from top-line lrish musicians like Donal Lunny, Paul Brady and Liam D’Flynn. (Kenny Mathieson)

Inevitably, his trademark laid-back mainstream pop-rock sound is much in evidence, from the lazy drawl of ‘Vic

l Rock’ which blasts the scene as a

' ‘tired epileptic charade . . . I knew you

when/You had something to say’. Mostly, though, this is a sick and

weary post-relationship album or

perhaps exorcism would be nearer the

The pattern is well established by ; mafk- ‘Next Time That YOU leave',

' now, Bob forms power trio and gamers ‘llair Stew’ and ‘Boll Over And Die’ are

(l-Idel) from Taste Of Joy. international acclaim, Bob disbands the anger, ‘Thumbtack’ the numbed

st‘cpl {hit} Vocalist 5 power trio, slopes off to explore new } reflection and the Open"!!! ‘Anvmore

MfChF‘l“ (1"‘ll‘l “‘“l” l" ! levels of introspection. With the Time Between’ a fly-on-the-wall View

“(39% "m "l‘ hf" f‘“. “' _ recent demise of Sugar, this is the of crumbling intimacy. lt’s devastating

yet in the dance corner . ,

and updated by various second nine we been here' Bu? 3 .Stu" 3.“ on the “male 8 lat more

remix“ Sweéueek ; although it’sfamiliarterritory, this involvrng than the last Sugar album. A

1):. M,- ch- (p.10), (,- packs an integrity and emotional new Bob Mould record is like a letter

mischieyousness honesty that’s all too rare nowadays in from a friend who’s always going

incarnate. throwing a l that debased genre, ‘alternative’. And through hard times but never wears

spanner in the dancelloor what do you know, Bob feels the same, out his welcome. Long may he lick his

weighing in with ‘I Hate Alternative wounds in public. (Alastair Mabbott)

works by unexpectedly slowing the pace right FAITHLESS

down and dawdling Reverence (Cheeky Records)


Bob Mould (Creation)



around for a while before accelerating to a breakneck pulse as the end approaches. Commendany confusing. Straight outta Lewisham. Sterling are intense indeed. Their 'Everest Eyes” lil’ (Mantra) is a car crash of aggression. restraint and skewed melody. If anything. Leeds' Fuzzbird ' take it even further to the edge on ‘Change It (FR) with a merciless razor- wire sound and a singer who can't decide whether he wants to sing for Marion or The Fall. Magnificent. ‘Autumn‘ (West Nile) by Glasgow's Catcher is an altogether jauntier. not to mention janglier. proposition.

lyricists, hip hop maestro, Maxi Jazz and born-again rocker Jamie Catto. It is hip-pop and hop ’n’ roll, a slow burning twist of brain-scorching rap, scratched into trip-house.

Take Salva Mea, with its orchestral build-up, hand-raising breakdown and slapping house heat which slides back into funky rap attack. Or the sensual deviance of ‘If Loving You Is Wrong’, a sexually explicit monologue drawled over a hip-grinding beat. Now there’s a track which won’t be getting much daytime radio play. Reverence is full of surprises, a hint of opera here or a verbal juxtaposition there. It is a musical treat which moves dance forward more than a few paces. (Thom Dibdin)

You won’t have heard a dance album like this for a while. In a neat reversal of the usual process, Sister Bliss and Bollo have created an album which sounds like club music re-mixed for home use. All the elements of the pumped- up house music which Sister Bliss plays so well when she DJs are there. Except that the dancefloor-friendly kick drum is reserved for occasional rather than constant use.

But there's more to Reverence than souped-up house tracks, thanks to the influence of the band’s two

48 The List 3-l6 May l9‘)6 A i