MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
. ’ I . «-. !ll+-f~ flT: stolen Bedding’s voice box Philip Durward fights his way through the new releases. It has to be said that The Dyres do not do things by halves: first. they supported David Bowie at the SI-LCC and now they‘re on the bill for Madstock III at Finsbury Park. The Nutty Boy connection on the Glasgow boys' third single comes courtesy of the producers who twiddled the knobs on most of Madness’s greatest hits. Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. ‘Are You Ready' (Sugar) is rifferama territory. with The Gyres taking a large leaf otit of Bobby Gillespie's book of surging hooks and raucous singalongs. About time. One single further forward are the singularly minded Bis. No sooner have they appeared on 72),) ()f'l'lic Pups than they're biting the record industry hand that feeds them. ‘Bis Vs The DIY Corps’ (Teen C) contains three tracks of verve to accompany their ever so interesting pinball vocals that hit you from all angles. Staying with the west coast. NT remind us that sampling is an art form with neat bass hooks and sassy string samples. Their debut single. ‘Responsibilities' (Natural Response). is lifted solidly by the creamy tones of vocalist Andy. who seems to have acquired the voice box of ()tis Redding. ()n a similarly infectious vibe is a guy called lewis Taylor. who makes Mark Morrison look passe". Following on from where D'Angelo's ‘Brown Sugar' left off. ‘Lucky‘ is rough. dusted soul that is an imaginative world away from the current Top 40 R&B. Then again. Lewis does cite Tangerine Dream as one of his influences. If that‘s the hazy sound of summer. then flaw Stylus is the funky. The title track from their blistering debut LP. 'Change‘ (Wired). is a hip. swinging slab of bass guitar funk. It‘s thoroughly infectious. very l996 and a 24-hour party record.
Peace At Last (WEA)
Seven years down the line from Ilats, is the new Blue llile album worth the wait? You can bet your bottom buck it is. in common with its predecessors, Peace At Last will leave you unmoved on first listen. By the third hour in its company, the scars will have run so deep as to leave you forever in its grip.
From the opening track, the joyous ‘llappiness’, to the mournful closer, ‘Soon’, rest assured you are in league with a band who have complete faith in their own direction. The familiar Blue llile motifs remain intact, yet they are joined and enriched by a gospel choir and, horror of horrors,
the tender licking of acoustic guitars. As for the voice, Paul Buchanan’s is as fragile and potent as ever. Dip briefly into ‘Family Life’ (‘Easter Parade’ reprised) and feel that snake ripple down your back.
Sure, there are moments when the band threaten to emigrate to the land of duff, particularly when they iolt into funk mode but with the twist of a chord or lyric all is well again.
Whether we have to hold our breath for another lengthy period until part four of the Blue life story nestles in the nation’s record collections is up to them. For now, this will more than suffice, thank you very much indeed. Album of the year? Probably not, but Peace At last will ioust with the best of the competition.
WILLIE NELSON Spirit (Island)
Thirty-three years down the line, Island Records release their first country album, and who better to break the mould than the original mould-breaker himself? The word is that the next album will be a Willie Nelson reggae album (honest, l’m not making this up), and the one after that will be his long-cherished blues album, but for openers, he has given us a slice of quintessential llelson country.
This is Willie at his best - no guest stars, no big band backing, no covers
of dodgy pop tunes, just a set of new Nelson songs, sung in his own genuinely inimitable fashion. The pared-down accompaniments are dominated by his old gut-strung Martin guitar, with sister Bobbie Nelson’s gentle piano, and fiddle and rhythm guitar from Johnny Gimble and Jody Payne.
The musicians fit the music like Dwight Yoakam fits his jeans, and Willie sings his heart out in an understated but nakedly emotional set of songs about love, death, religion, and other crucial matters of the spirit. Inevitably, it will be compared with his classic ﬂed Headed Stranger, and if it is not quite up to that masterpiece, it gets damn close. (Kenny Mathieson)
METALLIDA load (Vertigo)
Metallica’s last platter shifted about SD zillion copies, so it’s of little surprise that the release of their sixth LP should be greeted with much hullabaloo. The band talk the international language of metal, an argot of few syllables but many speakers.
Load clocks in at a whopping 79 minutes which is a double choc-chip treat for fans but an ordeal of Marathon Man proportions for innocent passers-by. And while the
image has been updated, the boys having swapped the combat fatigues for that superfine pimp chic a la Tom Waits, the music is still pretty much all the obligatory stifling malevolence and masturbatory axe-wielding.
‘The llouse Jack Built’ at least boasts some admirably iuvenile burping wah- wah effects, and the country- flavoured ‘Mama Said’ is not too despicable in its guise as token ballad. But elsewhere ‘llonnie’ is 12 Top on a bad-beard day and ‘llntil lt Stops’ flirts disastroust with something resembling the theme from M‘A‘S'll. Suicide, they say, is painless. This record is not. (liodger Evans)
MUTANT POP VARIOUS
In There (Pi Recordings)
The second in Pi’s off-the-wall
compilations ventures into the
territory of ‘freestyle’ music, a
useless term which is taken to
mean not just mutant pop, but hybrids
of the same: strange fruit
and mighty fine construction. There’s dubbed-out easy listening
from Sweden and a band known
only as if playing a tune called ‘Deep
Depression Dub’ which
sounds like Mixman’s electro dub
reggae on mind-expanding drugs.
There’s warm electronic nurdlings
over slowed down techno on The
Lisa Carbon Trio’s ‘Megawhat
Acoustic Droovology’. There’s
haunting sleazeball iazz from Fantastico’s bass, drums, glockenspiel and flute quartet which suddenly develops a house kick-drum beat. There’s Jorge lieyes’ demanding but satisfying
fusion of stone-age instruments with modern technology.
Dne track is worth the price alone: Sir Julian’s version of the Duke Ellington classic, ‘caravan’. it is three-and-a-half minutes of heaven, recorded in 1960 by someone who does for their llammond organ what Hendrix did for his guitar. This is music which is surprising and bizarre, not to be different, which would make it confused and directionless, but because the effect sounds so damn good. (Thom Dibdin)
44 The List [4-27 .lun I996