record reviews

USELE- Salad

lce Cream (Island) fir * air

Further proof that the general public have no taste: Sleeper reap their chart rewards, while a genuinely inventive indie guitar band like Salad maintain a precarious cult status, always tipped for greater things, but always the bridesmaid. Ice Cream is 'indie’ stripped of the unchallenging grey associations. Many of the tracks have the exciting, galloping momentum of single 'CardbOy King', sweeping you along in their inexorable slipstream. Salad don’t exactly have a conventional way with a melody, but their quirks don’t sound forced, and singer Marijne has toned down the kook angle, presumably in the knowledge that her band can draw you in Without forced tricks. (FS)

Bark Psychosis

Game Over (3rd Stone) **

Since 1989, Bark Psychosis have been sauntering through an impressionistic landscape bordered by territories marked out by such groups as AR. Kane, The Cocteau Twins, The Blue Nile and Dr Phibes And The House Of Wax Equations. This is a bitty compilation that pulls together such moments as the full-on squall of ‘Murder City’, the epic, but largely uneventful, swells of the 21-minute

{‘5‘ V

Bark Psychosis: barking up the wrong tree this time around

'Scum' and the clever jazz-fusion touches to a cover version of Wire’s 'Three Girl Rhumba'. But, taken as a whole, Game Over is a monument that's strangely unworthy of them. Newcomers should start Wllh 1994's masterful Hex instead. (AM)

Jazzateers I Shot The President (Marina) t t * ir

It’s the great lost album of the 80s. Two albums, in fact, recorded by one of Glasgow’s most legendary bands and, criminally, never released until now. Kicking off blindingly with a post-Velvets rush, that strangled vocal recalling a young, fresh Edwyn Collins and a cussed, ornery guitar sound that's still making itself felt in such bands as The Leopards today, it’s fixed in time but charmingly timeless. Towards the end, as those around them realised Success, Jazzateers threatened to become a merely efficient 80s gurtar band, but they never

ROCK Radiohead

OK. Computer (Parlophone) * 1: 1k tr

. Paranoia, isolation, alienation, technofear . . . Makes you wonder why Radiohead get out of bed in the morning. See, OK. Computer is not comfortable listening. 0r easily accessible. Having produced a blockbuster with The Bends, Yorke and chums have turned all weird and wired. They've gone and done a Blur. Or a Supergrass. Both of which are ultimately on the

same parent record label, incidentally.

‘Exit Music‘ finishes with Yorke croaking hoarsely about choking to death as children play nonchalantly in the background; 'Fitter Happier' consists of two minutes of Professor Stephen Hawkings detailing the bland aspirations of consumer society, his voice dehumanised by his voice synthesiser. Throughout the album, feedback howls and whines, savage electricity pulses, dark hums lurk around the edges, songs disintegrate into static and few tracks escape some form of distortion. The first single from the album, ’Paranoid Android' weighs in at a radio-unfriendly six minutes.

It's almost as though the band have gone out of their way to make things difficult for listeners and themselves alike. Still, no pain no gain and, as ever, perseverance is repaid. Repeat listening unveils a core of aching beauty under the surface dischord - just don’t expect many laughs.

(Jonathan Trew)

52 THE US" l3~26 Jun 1997

completely lost that adrenaline surge. So definitive are they of a certain style, sound and attitude that only months from now, it'll feel as though these tracks have always been there. (AM)

Del Amitri Some Other Sucker's Parade (A&M) *

What are this band doing? Sleepwalking? Painting their kitchen with a lipbrush? Tidying their sock drawer for three consecutive nights, trying out different storing techniques for maxrmum neatness? Or just being pedestrian, tedious and repetitively dull, all rolled into one for fewer time- consuming digestion? Yup, it would appear so, having reached that irredeemably boring fourth album stage. But rejorce! Justin Currie says there's less acoustic earnestness and less guitar solos on this one. Which leaves more room for meandering,

, sub-INXS, faint-hearted rockers and

even less inspired AOR plodding. Still - big in America, We heard. (FS)

Monaco Music for Pleasure (Polydor) * t t

Pack this baggage yourself, sir? Joy Oivr5ion, New Order, Revenge, Mrs Merton . . . he doesn't travel light, that Peter Hook. But he knows a monster electro-pop hit single when he writes one, and he's penned a few. There's the famously inane ’What Do You Want From Me' for a start. Shanananana etc. Dumb but catchy as typhoid. Not to mention the current single 'Sweet Lips' which takes off in a Chic/Weather Girls vein before coming over all pseudo-housey. Aside from the odd Wagnerian symphony cum handbag crrcumnavigating classic, however, the LP is merely hydrated Lightning Seeds/OaSis Strictly economy class then. (RE)

Marshall Crenshaw

Miracle of Science (Grapevine) ****

This is Marshall Crenshaw‘s first studio album in six years, and it’s a peach. The singer-songwriter makes consistently high-quality, impeccably crafted pop records which have never otiite achieved that big commerCial break- through, possibly because his approach is just raw and left-field enough to deter the MOB/AOR album buying crowd. An ace version of Ray Price's country diamond ’Who Stole That Train' is a personal favourite here, but the whole album exudes class and spirit in equal measure. (KM)

Technoir Funk D'Void (Soma) *‘k‘k‘k

Glasgow's Lars Sandberg (Funk D'Void) finally brings us his debut album, a dozen tracks of high excellence that are well worth the wait. The recording brings together a plethora of styles, mixing up deep Detroit techno with melodic house, funk-infused, ass- shaking excursions and Sunday morning dawnrisers. ‘Herbie on Rhodes' takes us back to the jazz house sway of his ’Chaser’ project while the continually morphing 'Bad

C offee' even gives us a vocal: 'Too black, too strong’, to chant along with. Techno stretched to its limits. (RW)


Pocket Universe (Mercury) **

Yello’s Dieter Meier and Boris Blank have produced some significant, cheerily entertaining works in their time. This unfortunately isn’t one of them. An album largely consisting of filler tracks stumbles in with a starry- eyed X Files monologue over spiralled warbling before plodding into breathy primitive dance territory. Tedious seven- minute excursions into their belly buttons are best ignored when they can actually come up with the goods on sweetly weird tracks like 'To The Sea' and the chunky dance workouts of ’More’ and ’Magnetic’. Yello are great when they go odd, but on this album there’s too much cod. (RW)

Brendan Benson One Mississippi (Virgin) *‘kt

Benson is an American singer and songwriter with a serious pop history fixation, from the tuneful melodies of The Beatles (shades of those Gallagher boys) through to grunge. The album plunders stylistic references from The Turtles to Nirvana, with Benson’s fashionably rough-edged vocals as its unifying factor. His songs are pleasingly melodic (if a little weird at times in the lyric department), and the guitar-driven backings motor along in a punchy fashion, but it all has a slightly second- hand feel. (KM)


Brendan Benson: knows a lot about history