Brian Donaldson learns some new songs to whistle while he shaves.

He may be as mad as a loony loo brush btit Shaun Ryder's current punchline is in danger of becoming tired. Sure. Black Crape’s debut album was a stunning collection but on the evidence of 'l’at Neck' (Radioactive). Ryder is reluctant to move on. it sneers and spits in all the


The It Girl (Indolent)

Beyond stating that if you like Sleeper, then you’ll like this record, there’s worryingly little to say. 183 words to go, then. Guitars abound, somehow managing to remain fundamentally dull, despite sounding reasonably sharp. Bits of it sound like Blur-ry sketches, a few others like Pulp farting collectively in a sauna. Without Jarvis. Dn ‘Statuesque,’ to continue the thrilling list of similes, Wener manages a passable imitation of Deborah Harry in the kitchen. ‘Cood Luck Mr Corsky’ is reportedly the last thing Neil Armstrong said before

leaving the moon, it’s meaning remaining a mystery for years. When the truth came to light, it was pretty funny, actually, but it’s all been spoiled now. lley-ho. Like ‘Sale of the Century’, ‘What Do I Do llow’ was a single. Like the rest of the songs featured on this album, you probably wouldn’t throw your stereo through a plate-glass window if it came on the radio, which is a recommendation of sorts. This record features the lines ‘Two robbers arrive, big guys with guns and ‘Can’t pay attention when you’ve got glue ears’ among many, many others. Uhhm, heard the one about the ageing nun and the butcher’s tie?. . . oh, out of space. (Damien Love)

bellowed melodies, Richard Parfitt’s sandpaper vocals, Mike Cole’s rough

right places but leaves

I .1 ,2 i .1 .l c and ready harmonies and their hell- gllzlltlllllftrlli)‘ :‘tl‘itlu\l(l)l): lor’leather COVE? 0' The 'Beatles’. wetting themselst "'9 Bill ""89 (lfldOleMl ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide

Who could have predicted that in the Except For Me And My Monkey’, but middle of the eclectic 90s, when 3 beyond the context of a sweaty dive smattering 0f everything in your MIISic venue their post-punk trio chemistry seems to be the order of the day, that lacks charm and kick. there would be room for straight- Previous singles like ‘llappy Shopper’ down-the-line melodic rock? Try it and ‘Pig Valentine’ sprint by, muscles with lowest-common-denominator bulging, but the new material can’t lyrics (Oasis, for example) and oikish match them for mosher’s delight. vocals (take llorthern Uproar - and ‘Streamlined’, ‘Loser’ and ‘Buzz’ either keep them please). 60ft Dolls are like make a meal of the guitar solos or are T’Uproar’s sussed elder brothers just too lumpen to go supersonic. they’ve done the booze and birds Which leaves far too much time for things but they’re honing a sensitive. the listener to sit around and complain wordly-wise stredt. about the conservative nature of

Live, it’s not hard to be affected by music enjoyed by the young people of the visceral combination of their today. (Fiona Shepherd)

His. sort of. nailiesake. Sean Maguire is also plumbing a familiar vein. That of the ex-Grange Hiller turned pap singer who claimed that music is their true vocation. ‘Good Day‘ (l’arlophone) begins so swiftly that it promises to be over in a matter of seconds. Hardly surprisingly. it isn't. Any more of this and I‘ll be sending Gripper Stebson round. ()xford‘s Candyskins aren‘t likely to earn bouquets for breaking new ground btit ‘Get it ()n' (Ultimate) acts like a more than decent warm-up to Shaun/Sean's show. Guitars fuzz and fade in deeply approving ways accompanied by one of those anthemic choruses which are reluctant to unstick themselves from your mind first thing ill the morning.

Uncannily. the Fun Lovin’ Criminals chant ‘gettin' it on' over and over (and flipping over) ill the chorus of their ‘The Grave And The Constant' (Chrysalis). Luckily this mild irritation can be forgiven when the track is drenched in such delicious bluesy funk gubbins. Not so delicious is Mark Knopfler’s ‘Cannibals‘ (Vertigo). Clearly the sultana of swing has yet to

The combined effect is something along the lines of a more intimate, understated cross between the aforesaid Joni, Aimee Mann and Biiirk, for those who like to know what The first thing that strikes you about neighbourhood they are going to find Fiaere is an obvious Joni Mitchell themselves in. The conjunction of influence on her phrasing and pitching sweet and cool is an apt one in of notes, but once you have worked describing both her music and her your way past that, the American-born, singing, but doesn’t really take Glasgow-based singer’s new album account of a darker undercurrent confirms that she has plenty of her which runs through the songs, and own to offer. She walks largely in comes to the surface in overt fashion contemporary folk-inflected rock on a song like the moody ‘Wise idioms, and if some of her lyrics strain lnnocence’ or ‘To The Moon’. Their a little too hard to be poetic, the downbeat qualities are balanced by a stripped down acoustic setting of sharp ear for a nice melodic hook on most of the songs provides a fine songs like ‘Temporary Mary’, showcase for her light, breathy, ‘Kindness’, ‘lleed’, or the folky ‘lleld’. expressive voice. (Kenny Mathieson)

FJAERE Sweet/Cool (SIC Records)

himgclf mm (he knackm the Cure shouldn’t be about piss-take yard. Not so much :1 songs, 0', indeed, songs Whicn potboiler as the BSE- mention recognisable places like

riddled carcass of ‘Walk Of Life.‘

lfl were Matthew Kelly. at this point I would write ‘tonight. Asian Dub Foundation are Shaggy!‘ I’m not. ofcourse. hilt I just have. So close to ‘Boombastic' is their ‘Change A Gonna Come" (Nation Records) that an early call to their legal representatives may be prudent. Pick of the hunch is Jocasta with the thrusting ‘Change Me‘ (Sony). Simple but not dumb.

America. Unless it’s Paris that gets mentioned, but that, obviously, is different. Then there’s the joyous-by- numbers ‘Bound and Round and Bound’ which is more than a tad superfluous. 0n the plus side we have the weeping melancholy of ‘This is a Lie’ and ‘Treasure’ bowed under the weight of a tearful string quartet; the ‘l’m so happy I could scream’ guitar kaleidoscopes of ‘Mint Car’ and ‘Return’; and the plain daft boozed up Latin weirdo ‘The 13th.’ Big restless landscapes, through which small figures wander feeling happy sad. (Johnny Logan)

Wild Mood Swings (Fiction)

In effect, the same album as Wish, which was the same album as Kiss Me, Kiss Me Kiss Me which was a longer version of The llead on the Door, only different. This is a good thing. Mostly. The trouble with Wild Mood Swings is that shared by most (what we once referred to as) double albums ie there’s a wonderous single-platter waiting to get out. ‘Club America’ for example, could be topped off without doing any great harm. For a start, Robert doesn’t sound like Robert, he’s doing this big cigarette-

i; 1,4. 4'.


46 The List 17-30 May 1996