record reviews

Royal Trux Sweet Sixteen (Virgin/Hut) *t

Whey-faced junky chic lizard persons, Royal Trux have the good taste to sample the great Lenny Bruce if nothing else. They dish up sub New York Dolls/early 70$ Stones fare with prog-rock trimmings and a dollop of guitar histrionics to go. One guesses this is a band who favour all out Bacchanalian rock piggery over tea and scones every time. But, as your dad would likely catechise, call that singing? Jennifer Herrena makes Ozzy

Osbourne sound like Whitney Houston.

Still, grudging respect for the most indescribably horrible album cover since John and Yoko got their caftans off. (RE)

Paul McCartney

Flaming Pie (EMI) *‘k‘k

Post Beat/es Antho/ogy, Macca went into the studio for a bit of a laugh. And not at our expense this time around. (He let Ringo play on two songs just how funny is that?) It paid off. This is the best music he’s made since the early 80s, arguably the best since Wings. Flaming Pie, named after a famous John Lennon non seguitur (no laboured gags about Linda’s cooking, please), is a comfortable stroll through folksy pOp, R ’n’ B, and Stax soul. Okay, there is a number called ’Little Willow', but its rather winsome. Not a chorusing amphibian in sight. (RE)

Darren Price

Under The Flightpath (Novamute)

** it

A word of warning for anyone considering buying this, the debut album from 26-year-old Darren Price . . . it ain’t easy-listening. Which isn’t to say it’s bad far from it in fact, it’s just that, as techno goes, Under The Flightpath deals in its 'serious’ side. Electro plays a big part, as do Kraftwerk and a fusion of techno and drum 'n' bass, all of which creates a gut-pummelling, headfuck of a listening experience. But, don’t let that put you off, this record is excellently- produced and deserves to be heard in its entirety. Those with an open-mind will appreciate, if not enjoy, it. (JB)

9 a

46 THE US! 16—29 May 1997

Smog Red Apple Falls (Domino) ***

When Bill Callahan was seven, his folks sent him from home near Washington DC to school in Yorkshire. Maybe that was when he met the widow who gave him the red apple. Now known as Smog, Callahan wants to tell us about it. At least three songs on his new album centre on that rosy symbol of temptation and corrupted innocence. Other themes include how Callahan felt about his brother’s death; how he feels about deceiving women; about reading bad news in the paper. So it’s no surprise that the musical accompaniments are far from cheery. Apart from the occasional tootle of horns, the closest we get to joy among these spare, hypnotic arrangements is a pedal steel guitar. Tune in and wallow. (AB)


Bands For Sale (Coloursound records) *t‘k *

The second CD of selected unsigned Edinburgh bands recorded at the city's Coloursound studios is, as a Whole, of a higher standard than the first one reviewed on these pages a couple of months back. Standout tracks include Doc Stanley’s ’Over Under’ which displays their summery melodies in a much better light than many of their live shows; an intriguing dub dance number by Space Monkey Mafia; a cracking synth landscape shot through with bubbly keyboards by Dave Mason and an angsty indie jangle from Mayonnaise. There are more good tracks (and remarkably few clangers) than there is space to go into here so buy it in local record shops. You won’t be disappomted. (JT)


When Animals Attack (Infectious)

* t t

A quick glimpse at the front cover, an outstretched hand minus the dialing digit, that title and tracks With names such as ’Freeze The Atlantic' and ’God Gave Me Gravity,’ and the fact that tracks are categorised by speed rather than minutes and seconds and you could easily be conVinced you are in the company of madmen on heat Fluffy lambs in wolves’ pantaloons, actually. There may be the odd moment of deathhell thrashery but, to

Cable: fluffy lambs in wolves' pantaloons


The Foo Fighters

The Colour And The Shape (Capitol) 1% at: * it:

Okay, so he wasn't just any old drummer. He was drummer with the supernaturally gifted Nirvana. But still - the drummer. On the basis of what we already know of The Foo Fighters (their rocket-launching way with a roaring rock tune) and with this second album which further expands their ass-kicking capabilities, you have to ask - why wasn't Dave Grohl out front at the helm of his own band sooner?

Leaving aside the fact that he's an ace hollerer - because there are many who can do the can-you-hear-me-at-theback-of—the-aircraft-hangar routine - his and his band's main strength is their ability to deliver bulldozing riffs with the immediacy of pop. Even the straight power rock numbers like ‘My Hero’ have a charm of their own.

There's more than beefy guitars on the menu though. 'My Poor Brain’ starts with an insistent but understated refrain that Stereolab would be proud of, while ’See You' is a chirpy acoustic ditty with a spring in its step which could easily take up residence in your subconscious.

The only weak link is the predictable ballad ‘February Stars' which goes all epic right on cue. and should be treated as the ad break during an involving programme. (Fiona Shepherd)

them that he chose to let this one slip out). And life itself? Well, strike a light, guv’nor, it’s a bleedin’ ’miracle'. is the word 'trite' missing from Paddy’s otherwise expansive vocabulary? (AM)


Sunsets On Empire (Dick Bros) ir-k The winds of change may have cascaded through the nation on 1 May but at least you can rely on some things never to change. The Fish faithful Will no doubt be in raptures, for the rest of us it’s just another trudge through all the rock cliches you’ve learned to loathe. Track one is called ’The Perception of Johnny Punter’, eight and a half minutes of sock dullardry or an anthemic meisterwork. And yes, there are heart and/or bowel moving ballads. He may well be rock's least fashionable man, but that’s no reason to let Fish off the hook. (BD)

everyone’s surprise, Cable keep the tunes a-coming. even if it’s not the 3T variety. Wired for sound. (BD)


Sentient Being (M&G Records) at at A record that warns of explicit lyrics but scores miserably low on the old effometer. You hear far choicer expletives from Radio 4 newscasters. However, the eaSily offended need not be totally disappomted. There is plenty of sexual reference on Sentient Being, although conceivably 'S.U.C.K’ may be 3 a treatise on the enjoyment of mint imperials. Whatever, Jhana exrst in unmapped territOry somewhere between Texas, Sneaker Pimps, and Shakespeare's Sister. It all makes for a curious listen, an over egged production With imaginative dubby flourishes, but really too bland to provoke any strong language one way or another. (RE)

Prefab Sprout David Newton Andromeda Heights (Columbia) 12th of the 12th (Candid) ** 1t 1t * ** Producer Elliot Meadow’s abiding

obsession With Frank Sinatra finds a sympathetic response from DaVid Newton in these purposeful and decidedly unhackneyed solo piano interpretations of songs assooated With the singer. The pianist’s inventive reworkings are augmented by his own thoughts on the great man in his title composition, Which takes its name from Sinatra’s birthday. He discovers fresh routes through even the most familiar tunes, and demonstrates his customary deftness of touch and rich harmonic facility in the process. (KM)

Being a Prefab Sprout record, it goes without saying that this is stuffed With moments of haunting beauty, but were the band always this ingratiating? The sardonic ’Electric Guitars' is a delight, but everywhere else McAloon downplays his cleverness and makes like he's still writing for Jimmy Nail. Love is a ’mystery’, ’an avenue of stars', a high-rise that stretches to another galaxy and, worst of all, ’the fifth horseman of the apocalypse’ (if Paddy really does have Zillions of songs stored away, it doesn’t say much for