“mus 'KECUKU K]: V 11:: W0
Flooa Shepherd has some adventures In stereo . . .
_ unacquainted with Broudie’s oeuvre would know merely from studying the
THE LIGHTNING SEEDS "°°'°""”"°'*°'° dealing with
master poptician. The effervescent Dizzy Heights (Epic)
single, ‘lleady 0r lot’, you already know about, and it’s an apt taster for a Bid Ian Broudie emerge from his mother’s womb already whistling an
life-aifirming record that, between waxing wistful about goodbyes, insists irritatineg infectious ditty? In all but that there’s always an escape from the most literal sense, he probably even the most aimless and did; tor Dizzy Heights, the fourth meaningless of existences. lightning Seeds album and the first to be made with an honest-to-goodness
The melodies are as chunky and serviceable as anything in the Black 8. live band in attendance, slides down so easily that it can only be the work
Decker catalogue, and the of a man for whom creating
possibilities afforded by the new Lightning Seeds touring line-up give it captivating tunes come as naturally as a liveliness unmatched by the breathing. similarly tune-heavy Jollification. It fit the twelve songs here, only one Broudie is working to a formula, there weighs in at under three minutes and are no signs of it wearing thin just yet. only one runs over tour, so even those (Alastair Mabbott)
Hi-ﬁ. lo-f'r. no-ﬁ . . . all recording quality is here. and most of it appears to have originated in Glasgow. Octopus and AC ACOUSTICS always seem to release something just in time for my stint in the singles review hotseat. The former‘s ‘Jealousy‘ (Food) was apparently a jaunty little number thrown together in the studio at the last minute. And how it sounds it. Roll on the new stuff. . . and roll on more AC
Acoustics if the breathless big dipper ride of ‘Stunt Girl’ (Elemental) is anything to go by. Which it IS.
London label Love Train release 7in singles by two Glasgow bands who have shared personnel in the past. though not necessarily record collections. Mogwai’s seasonally- adjusted ‘Summer‘ is a lovely percussive instrumental caress with additional wall-of-guitars riffola. while Eska’s ‘Running On Sum Six Dew’ is a reasonable slab of tunecore in the US slacker style.
Flotsam & Jetsam have been a busy label of late. releasing a Space Kittens/Skinky split 7in. The former‘s ‘Felix' is cartoon Polly Harvey while the Iatter‘s ‘Torrents' is indeed a stormy deluge which bodes well for the day when they have a budget of more than 20p. On the same label Pink Kross offer the ‘Active Dalmation‘ EP headed up by the wonderfully-named ‘A Bomb Prom‘ which. if anything. is less sophisticated than their previous one-chord wonders. while The Poison Sisters’ ‘Digitalis‘ EP is. at its best. reminiscent of early discordant Joy Division and, at its worst. porridge.
In this week's kitsch corner we have PJ Ptth a Marc Almond teat. My Lite Story Orchestra and with that line-up you hardly need telling what ‘Yesterday Has Gone‘ (EMI Premier) sounds like. The Revolution Singles Club introduces The Beekeepers whose ‘Catgut‘ is yer basic Green Day model and The Bluebellles with the forgettable ‘Don‘t Let Me Interrupt’. Finally Tanya Connein goes it alone with the ‘Sliding And Diving' EP (4AD) whose lead track ‘Bum‘ sounds like My Bloody Valentine as sung by Clare Grogan. Seemingly cute. deceptively vicious.
CHUCK D Autobiography 0f Mistachuck (Mercury)
Nine years on from Public Enemy’s Yo! Bum Bush The Show Chuck II is back with his first solo long-player. It seems that time has indeed mellowed hip hop’s first minister of rage. Far from it being a full-on, fast-paced political Public Enemy-style rant, we find Chuck in contemplative mood. From the opener ‘Mistachuck’ (‘It you don’t know me you can call me Mlstachuck’) the funk is in full effect. Instead of aiming his rage attire government and race issues Chuck turns on his fellow rappers. 0n the
second track, ‘llo’, (‘llo bodyguards/ gold teeth, llo East Coast/West Coast beefs’) he attacks rap’s out-of-control image.
But the best thing about the album is its Iaidback musical style. Basically, it’s funky. The tracks roll rather than rip as they used to do with Public Enemy. In addition, Chuck seems to have developed more of a lyrical flow, making the rapping more accessible.
The best track on a generally superb album is the cool ‘Ceneration Wrekked’ which finds sweet female backing vocals refraining ‘Some don’t know was’up/Shit is jus tucked up’ over Chuck’s no-nonsense chorus ‘If I can’t change the people around me/I change the people around me’. It’s an awesome moment on an inspiring album. (.Iim Byers)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE PRESIDENTS OF THE
The Presidents 0! The United States 0! America ll (Columbia)
So Bill Clinton is the first Democrat in so years to make it to a second term of office. Will he take this vote of confidence as a sign of trust and legislate with daring vision or will he carry on blurring the distinction between political left and right? like his musical namesake, he’ll go for the soft option most likely.
The Presidents . . . enter their second phase. The first was a resounding global commercial success. llas this
encouraged them to fulfil their occasionally glimpsed potential as audacious mainstream operators with a maverick streak, or go for something tried and tested? Can you guess what it is yet, children?
The pity is that you know PllSA have got it in them to do something a bit quirky while still ambushing the charts, like those other US collegiate- style dweebs Weezer, but too otten the end result is just a banal soup of silly lyrics, pop-grunge guitars and zero imagination. With only the occasional burst of indie boogie such as the single ‘Mach 5’ and Ben Folds Five- like flash honky-tonk keyboard tinkling to levitate things beyond the unremarkable. Still, at least they didn’t promise sweeping refonns. (Fiona Shepherd)
ELVIS PRESLEY Great Country Songs (RCA)
Back before he became the original certified, sanctified, and ultimately mythologlzed king of rock ’n’ roll, Elvis was steeped in country music. Its influence never left him through all his manifold peaks and troughs, and although the Grand Ole apryklcked him Into touch after one appearance, country has intermittently re-claimed him as a good ol’ boy who just happened to stray from the true path.
This excellent collection includes country songs given a pop-oriented treatment, as in his historic version of Bill Monroe’s ‘Blue Moon 0f
Kentucky’, or ‘Your Cheatin’ lleart’ with The Jordanaires’ poppy harmonies. Mostly, though, it features Elvis in genuine country mode on a wide range of material.
The lush choruses of ‘0Id Shep’, stinging steel guitar on ‘Just Call Me Lonesome’, big ballads like ‘Make The World Go Away’ or Willie Ilelson’s ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’, the loping country-rock of ‘Susan When She Tried’ or the driving ‘Cultar Man’ - it’s all here (some of it in previously unreleased takes), and still sounds great. The wheel turns full circle with his last non-concert recording, a version of the Jim Ileeves classic ‘lle’ll llave To 60’ knocked out in a mocked-up studio in Graceland in 1976. (Kenny Mathieson)
48 The List l5-28 Nov I996