that catapulted ’Kandy Pop' into the charts this time last year is present here in no small measure chi'ex'er, according to the factfiles on the sleeve, only one member of Bis is still in his teens, so the playground incursion lyrics grate a bit (or a lot depending on your Manda Rin sgueal threshold), and New TranSistor Heroes is a very adolescent album There are alternative moments, usually emanating from Sci- fi Steve's guitar, but the Bis lobby at The List Wishes that these were more frequent. The Secret Vampire Party are not ready for election victory Just yet

record reviews

Aerosmith Nine Lives (Columbia)

Perhaps it's all those brushes with death, but Aerosmith seem loath to waste a single moment. They’ve clearly drawn on all of their considerable experience for this one, pac king the grooves with a guantity of riffage and dumb raunch that lesser mortals

couldn't match in an entire career. Nine (FS)

Lives is polished but lively and cheekin

undisciplined, showbiz to the max and

yet the kind of record that gives GUS GUS

professionalism a good name. Even their silliest auclac ities -~ such as incorporating a brief musical reference to American Indians on the otherv-nsc.> raga-flavciiired 'Taste Of lndia' is, in Its own tcuc bed with glory (AM)


The New Transistor Heroes (Wiiija)

Polydistortion (JAD)

For a collective of nine lc elandic culture vultures who seem a little too keen to be promoted as odd (or maybe that’s jUSI the imposed perspective of non- lcelanders), Gus Gus sound iemaikably calm and coherent on their debut album This posse of filmmakers, DJs, actors and even some music ians have produced a varied slice of electronica which recalls Underworld and Orbital in its willingness to explore the dancefloor at a leisurely pa: e rather than immediately and repeatedly slain home the pomt The spectral voice of

In critical terms, it seems that Bis have practically had their day even before

their debut album is released, despite the fact that the perkiness and Vitality


Depeche Mode

Ultra (Mute) " -

It would be an understatement of monumental proportions to suggest that Dave Gahan has had a pretty uncomfy time of it recently. His drug problems have been well documented, making it not entirely unreasonable to expect Ultra. Depeche Mode's twelfth album, to be a dark and scary monster fit for the consumption of only the most masochistic.

Yet, while it has its fair share of bleak moments it leaves a more than pleasant aftertaste. The band may look like the cast from The Lost Boys or Night Of The Living Dead on the slick fold-out lyric sheet but while Ultra has bite, it threatens no one's mortality.

From the earliest of days, the Basildon band had a knack and a half for the neatly honed pop tune. Happily, this album refuses to betray that heritage. The not hit single ’Barrel Of A Gun' kicks off the collection spritely enough and ballads such as ’The Love Thieves' and ’Home’ (a track George Michael has been unsuccessfully attempting to write ever since he removed the shuttlecock from his shorts) add muscle.

While the themes may be frailty, fate and alienation, Martin Gore’s writing still allows for much joy to flourish. A very fine record indeed.

(Brian Donaldson)

46 rucusr .: i


33's 0


Kenickie: teenage kicks and glammy guitar licks all round

Hafdis Huld, in particular, corncides with most of Polydistortion's best bits. iFS)


At The Club (EMI) vi e: at

It’s teenage party time all of the time around Kenickie’s way and this album is what every girl gang and wannabe rock god listens to before going out for the night The girlie squealing can grate a little to start \vith but you’d have to be a curmudgeonly old fart not to warm to the exuberance and glammy sparkle of it all. Slower songs like ‘I Never Complain' or 'Acetone’ are the drab hangover to the rip-snorting, synchronised clapping of 'Spies' or the rush of ’Punka’ but every party exacts its own price in the morning. (JT)

PJ. Proby Legend (Elvll)

How to place the man, the myth, the legend that is PJ, Proby in the shell of a nut7 Well, critics' critic Nik Cohn thought Proby’s life a composite of Jesus Christ, Judy Garland, Errol Flynn, James Brown and Elvis Wowzer. Three decades on, the Texan is back and in fine company Marc Almond lends a big hand to the production and those St Etienne boys also chip in to excellent effect. From The King Vegas-era, through Roy Orbison-style tonsilled elegance, to saddle-sore cowboy blues, as PJ. himself mOurns: 'They don't sing 'em like that anymore' (RE)

Tarnation Mirador (AAD)

As befits a vocalist who has sung in punk bands, Jazz bands and a Bulgarian women's chow, and who grew up on Presbyterian hymns and yodelling, Paula Frazer brings a daring eclecticism to her work Like Palace and their ilk, Tarnation inhabit the shadowy hinterlands of country, but Frazer's remarkable voice takes them don-in previously unexplored paths She’s a gothic Patsy Cline who can trace a finger of ice down the bac k despite an unfoitunate vocal resemblance to Dolores from The Cranberries), Tarnation are Dead Can Dance piaying unreleased Ennio .’.‘.oriiccne and i.lirador is the sound of snide (‘ilff'l‘ spaces Colonise it (AM)

Reiief (Dedicated) This s grand sweeping gesture music not c:‘ the glacier-cool Geneva sariety, .'"f)."(" the standing on a v.ind-v.'hipped

; :tt edge heating vcfur‘ ('“i-T‘si, stirring in

l i

your breast stuff. Silkscreen sound like they've got Billy Corgan perched on one shoulder and Thom Yorke on the other. Corgan's whiny vocal technique prevails but on more sublime moments like ’No More', Yorke’s light and shade delivery holds sway. Let’s hope Silkscreen, like Mansun, eventually find their own distinct voice and knock their mentors off those perches. (FS)

Fruit Hark At Her (One Little Indian)

Apparently the average Greek eats nine portions of fruit per day, compared to the Brits who probably average one deep-fried banana fritter per day 'Experts' say that five portions per day should keep the doctor away On Hark At Her, there are twelve portions of Fruit, all composed by former Kitchens Of Distinction mainman Patrick Fit/gerach and performed With a little help from his friends, including David McAlmont and lvliki Berenyi on standout tracks 'Prowler' and 'Starring Relationship', (the former a swoon, the latter a bitch). Though not as majestic as the Kitchens, it’s a healthy start (FS)

Alison Krauss and Union Station

So Long So Wrong (Rounder) ii «i

A big fat hurrah to Alison Krauss for sticking to her bluegrass-rooted guns, and not allowing a shelf-load of country awards to turn her head in more overtly commercial directions Hell, she doesn't even hog the limelight on this fine album -- Dan Tymmski takes a couple of lead voc'ais, and eveeyone ci‘intributes to what is a real band effort Alison's pure, lovely singing remains their trump card, however, she plays some mean fidrile as well It may be a little too lush for the bluegrass purists, but it will please her fans (KM)

Tony Williams Trio Young At Heart (Columbia)

‘v'Villiariis riceif

l3 1

The irony of the title suddenly last month by his return to the label v.hi: h r\,': the i'ruininer's finest v.ork, the guintet sides ‘.‘.’liii Miles Davis LL." he" his own guintet albums c‘f recent this trio set is dominated sta" :' and \'.f)!i(‘ Williams remains a mast-f” dtti'nri‘iei‘, it is f‘.1lllf)i’(‘\.‘.’ i‘.iiiiei s :rni'” inventions which make the biggest impression, ably supported by :ra Coleman's emphatic bass v.‘<:i'-. revelations, but a solid coda to a TI'!’::'., tragically curtailed career iKlvti