Fiona Shepherd adds to her frisbee collection (only joking, guys!) . . . Mttcho West Coast action this fortnight. Straight outta Greenock and straight into the niche previously occupied by Whiteout come The luci Baines Band who made their debut on these pages in the demo column. ‘Find A l.i'l Love' (Yoyo) sounded great then and it still does now - a scuffed- up. street-smart track with lashin gs of lovely bad-boy attitude. lt's derivative. but like ()asis. you're too busy partying to notice.

Another new label to these parts is Shoeshine Records. run by BMX Bandit Francis Macdonald. The Bandits contribute a one-off single ‘Help Me Somebody'. a singy-songy ditzy ditty with a keyboard solo Mike Flowers would be proud of. and Finlay {\lacdonald. who was a BMX Bandit last titne we looked. steers Speedboat through the label's first release ‘Satellite Girl‘ which starts with a classic cliugga-chugga guitar then proceeds to slightly off- key American-accented vocals and then goes warmly but predictably Chiltonesque. Production by Kim Fowley and Norman Blake respectively. for all you rock family tree enthusiasts.

Kinda sorta similarly predictable but otherwise none the worse for it is The Delgados’ latest. ‘Under Canvas Under Wraps' (Chemikal Underground). which powers away leaving the Shoeshine boys frolicking nonchalantly at the starting line with its hectic vocal exchanges. nonsense lyrics that sound great and screechy violin crescendos.

Meanwhile The Supernaturals are no longer doing it by themselves. bill are openly consorting with a recording corporation known as Food Records. Home ()l' Arch Pop Like Blur. Their big. clever. funded-to-the-hilt debut 'Smile' boasts all their trademark melodic sass on the old joanna but without the usual unbridled exuberance. Fab space- age Tornadoesque keyboard refrain too. so there‘ll be no need for any marketing ‘incentives‘.

Finally. Ac Acoustics‘

‘l Messiah. Am lailor‘ (Elemental) may only be a one-sided dove grey promo disc with a silly title which was sold on their recent tour. but it sure whips the ass off anything else which might be mentioned elsewhere in this column (except for Luci).


Raise the Pressure (Parlophone)

Duite why the debut Electronic LP, released eponymoust in 1990, received the ecstatic acclaim it did remains a mystery to many who loved the contribution to 803 pop culture made by the dynamic duo at the project’s core. With their second album, Raise The Pressure, Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner have decided to mark time by mirroring its predecessor’s emphasis on a pummelling beat and floaty pop tunes. Sure, there is the odd moment of genial whimsy within the thirteen-

track collection such as the current chart-breaching single ‘Forbidden City’, the sprightly ‘For You’ and ‘Dark Angel’, with its Mantovani meets Mantronix intro. However, too much of it is nothing more than treading water in their sleep with their wellies on. Dina 6 would have felt embarrassed within seconds of conjuring up in her head a tune like ‘llntil The End Of flme’ in which Sumner warbles ‘you’re driving me crazy/oh baby.’ Frankly, 75 per cent of the album is as wet as a drenched mackerel with overactive sweat glands. And pneumonia.

if I were a teacher, which I’m not, I’d probably conclude the pair’s school reports with one phrase: ‘have done, could and simply must do better.’ (Brian Donaldson)


BDSAN NE DASH 10 Song Demo (Capitol)

Rosanne Cash’s debut recording for Capitol breaks about every rule in the book, which is just about par for this singer. Despite (or maybe because of) being Johnny Cash’s daughter and Rodney Crowell’s wife until the marriage finally broke up in 1992, a dissolution graphically chronicled on Interiors and The Wheel, she has never really tried to fit into a country mould for very long.

Her real forte is as a confessional, painfully intimate singer-songwriter, with a sultry vocal style which lures

the listener into accepting confidences. Capitol label-head Gary Dersh certainly thought so when he heard this studio demo tape of new songs she had prepared for him. lie was so taken by them that he insisted on putting it out in its original, informal demo format, selling at a little less than full price, and with eleven songs rather than ten.

That decision was no gimmick. The pared down format suits her style to perfection, and has produced a compelling acoustic record which is much more than a work-in-progress. Some of the songs are likely to appear in ‘finished’ studio versions later in the year, but these are likely to remain the definitive versions. (Kenny Mathieson)


BECK (Hie-Lay (Geffen)

Young Beck llansen was once described by the Beastie Boys’ Mike D as ‘the coolest man in America,’ which is pretty damn high praise; but here, ‘the enchanting wizard of rhythm’ is just as apt. 0-De-lay has been touched by the hand of the Dust Brothers, the production team responsible for showing the Beasties the analogue way to cut and paste hyperland on their Paul’s Boutique album. Thus the breakbeats which were flung together on ‘loser’ tor a laugh have been loosened up, refined

and arc-welded to the skewed surreal . 3h095’- (JOhflnY l093")

' bits are slightly cosmetic at times.

folk connection explosions experienced on the One Foot In the Grave album. When, during ‘Where it’s At’, we are informed ‘That was a good drum break,’ they ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.

At its most sleepin beautiful with ‘Jackass’ (samples courtesy of Dylan via Them); at its most akin to Tom Waits tripping over Tricky with ‘Derelict’; at its most Dr Seuss goes country on ‘Sissyneck’; and at its most chart-worrying handclapping funkathonic with ‘Where It’s At’, (Me- lay is a very, very groovy record (yeah, ‘groovy’) - although the ‘weird’ noise

Buy it, and remember: DD is evil and ‘You never lose in your razorblade J


IKE!— eusu

Sixteen Stone (MDA) Bush are the biggest contemporary British band in America, and this, their re-released debut album, has sold quantities world-wide that lloel and Damon can only dream about. However, it’s difficult to see their mammoth success being repeated in their native land, mainly because rock music has, thankfully, moved on from this. Their music is familiar: smudged rock dynamics, stop-start bursts of distortion, alternately growled and howled vocals.

Within these restrictions, some songs do stand out, the rollicking ‘Everything len’ in particular, but in

general Sixteen Stone is dated and pedestrian. It’s the sound of 1992. What really mars Bush’s sound is lead singer Davin Rossdale’s earnest vocalising. Maybe his distinctly odd mid-Atlantic groan can be put down to artistic affectation rather than imitation, but he certainly has the Vedder bellow and the Cobain rasp down pretty well.

Ultimately this is a solid enough alternative rock record, but its success is difficult to fathom. Maybe tastes move slower across the Atlantic than here. Perhaps it’s comforting in the States to hear a British band trying so hard to sound American. However, it seems Britain will probably remain immune to Bush’s obviously subtle charms for just a little bit longer. (Phil Miller)

40 The List 28 .lun- ll Jul I996