Ii Cast Mother Nature Calls (Polydor) *

Britpop’s dead. Hurrahl John Power's swaggering scouse scamps and their first album were head and shoulders above the hordes of re-invented pub

rockers they were lazily lumped alongside but it all seems to have gone a tad pear-shaped. There’s a cosy dockside familiarity to the second instalment of Power's spiritual quest, which grumbles into life with the brilliantly arrogant Free Me. It should be a kick-ass manifesto for what follows, but is actually as good as we’re going to get.

The only other songs with any real substance are the whirlygig trippiness of 'Tell You What To Do’ and the slow burn ragga of the closing 'Dance Of The Stars', which sounds like all Power's gurus have turned up to enlighten him at once. What's leftover is a mish-mash of stodgy guitar workouts which allow Power free rein to belt out his usual weed-induced, quasi- mystical cobblers. Everyone talks rubbish when they’re stoned, but Power

seems to have taken the late-night red-and-wideoeyed pseudo-profundity to

heart. They may mean it, maan, but they'll never get to a higher place this way, even if the cover does look like an advert for a Christian fellowship L package tour. (Neil Cooper)

“REE”— Kidnapper

Super Real Fiction (Fierce Panda)

Elastic band guitars, tin pot production .2er more dropped consonants than Janet Street Porter Kidnapper venture ‘tnrth from Noun/heresv'ille and may well he clutching a return ticket but this is ;:ne ( heeky wee gem of a single, a :‘iui'uv, fiiii thing about UFOs and the ':ke Arvrther whirl, another planet.

3 Colours Red

Pure. (Created

.: t To lre confused with the .I‘f‘. ‘,':.'i(:ly (hirpy Lightning Seeds song 'rt "flatifl‘t‘ in its own dreary

non-style. A production line Job from the hardest working rock band in SliOWbl7, their last single not long cleared out of the Top 30 Creation mogul Alan McGhee thinks they are the bee’s patellae, Mad. (RE)

Supergrass Richard The III (Parlophone)

Unlike ’Alright' yOur mum is pretty unlikely to go for this My own groovy matriarch has already thrown her hat into the ring on this score A record that draws on Iggy and Hendrix with zero hint of pastiche or cheap imitation, getting louder with every listen. Dark, dense, surly, big, berserk and beautiful Great thererriiii solo too (RE)

Natacha Atlas Amulet (Beggars Banquet)

Anyone fancy an Arabic rub-a-dub d0wn7 Chanteuse WIIlT TranstGlobaI Underground and lab Wobble, Madame Atlas has a monster talent, This could be The Frank Chickens 'BIue Canary’ cooked tip liloroccan-style Honest Drama and sensuality to give away, but is she really singing all about Damon and hegemony7 (RE)

Kenickie Nightlife (Elv'il)

Sunderland's top pop Iasses and lad back Wllll, by their exceptional standards, a rather disappointing if boisterous affair about life's twm pleasures, drinking and flirting, Not a patch on their previous offerings but still packing more sweetness and Vice into three-and-a-lmlf minutes than your regular :iidie shinintlies can dream IREi

Robbie Williams Old Before I Die (Chrysalis)

Robbie can't decide whether he wants to be Sting, Oasis or The Pet Shop Boys So, like a kid messing \‘.’|lll the contents of the dressing-up box, he

' ' e. passage c" s.-. ci- a‘txr,“ .~..1~2::";i"':'e:.-'

record reviews MUSIC

Robbie Williams: Sting, Oasis or The Pet Shop Boys?

has a go at the lot, even throwing a few Bowre-esgiie shapes into the deal. 'Straiige days we live in,' eh, Mr Williams? Very Jean Paul Sartre. (RE)


Ellie Carr, Rodger Evans, Alastair Ivlabbott, Kenny lvlathieson, Fiona Shepherd, Jonathan Trew.




4—17Apr 1997THE Lisr47