record revieWs



Deadstar (Discordant) 1H: air

This is very much the album you would hope to have heard from Veruca Salt pithy, punchy, catchy instead of the Iumpen proto-metal they’ve contented themselves With (Kiss and Aerosmith have so much to answer for). But while the Verucas were swamped in a flurry of expectations brought on by their premature peak, sassy trio Deadstar can step into the shoes they wear far better Without needing a fanfare to do it. On the other hand, there's nothing too startling here, given that girly garage pop is hardly virgin territory. For the moment though, Deadstar are biting and purring in all the right places. (FS)


Pup Tent (Beggar’s Banquet) at * ir fir Although not as sublime and moody as their last album Penthouse, this fourth LP is still a four-star effort. This time round, mainman Dean Wareham sounds almost playful maybe it’s the optimism of realising he is finally making music on a par With his much obsessed-over former group Galaxie SOO. Pup Tent -— a childhood game down Dean's way apparently comes over like an Americanised Tindersticks Without the orchestration or gloom. It belongs to the US underground tradition that draws on country rather than punk. Its literally-titled climax ’Fuzzy Wuzzy’ is the soundtrack to a spaghetti Western as played by The Velvet Underground. Quite a commendation really. (FS)


Indoor Living (City Slang) 1: at *

For all the magnificence of their anthemic 1990 single ’Slack Motherfucker’ (surely the anthem for the Mclobs generation), Superchunk have somehow managed to miss out on the sales and plaudits accorded to some other, less deserwng, indie American acts of their Vintage. The pleasingly melodic /ndoor Living is

unlikely to signal an upturn in their fortunes, which is a pity since they’ve arrived at a sturdy, unthrashy sound befitting their name. Offbeat, certainly, but eternally vigilant against the onset of wackiness, Superchunk still sing like they mean it after eight relatively fruitless years together. (AM)

Down By Law

Last Of The Sharpshooters (Epitaph) i ‘k *

Business as usual from DBL on their fifth release on the die-hard punk Epitaph label. Twelve years of hard graft have developed the band as a smooth running machine, and it shows. The melodic thrash of ’USA Today’ and the charmineg titled 'Urban Napalm’ nestle comfortably in the album’s fifteen tracks. Three minute punk-pop is very much the order of the day, With the predictably dark revolutionary lyrical content present, but thankfully not overtly in- your-face. The perfect hot summer soundtrack for skate-punks everywhere. (CR)


Blood-Rooted (Roadrunner) * it t t Boasting over an hour of live and rare material from the sadly missed Brazilian merchants, Blood-Rooted captures this unique death-metal squad at their Sabbath-worshipping best from early demos of gems such as 'Crucificados Of The Universe’, through the dungeon hip hop mix of 'Lookaway’, to the traditional tribal drumming of ’meas'. Possibly a little heavy-going for the uninitiated, but a worthy testament to the most innovative metal band of the last ten years. (CR)



Slow Flows The River (Marina) ****

Along stride on from their debut, Swimming In The Horsepool, this finds Glaswegians Gwen Stewart and DOLiglas McIntyre fine-tuning their brand of intimate, late-night listening. As if to underline the feeling that they’ve found their own niche, there are no cover versions this time around Undemonstrative and graceful from start to finish, it's a record that's

Gwen Stewart of Sugartown contemplates slowly flowing rivers

44 THE lIST 29 Aug—II Sep I997

UNDEFINABLE Super Furry Animals Radiator (Creation) a: i 4: * us

Why aren't this band the hugest on the planet? Is there a moratorium on open enjoyment of music made with an excess of imagination? One minute in on the first listen, things are already looking good and given the layers and number of ideas in any one Furries song, you know you're in for a stimulating ride. With four more plays. the journey is still just beginning.

Given that last year's Fuzzy Logic was album of the year, it comes as no surprise that Radiator kicks the butt of most of the field this year and confidently offers the real competition outside to settle things manfully. There's the same fizzy explosion of killer choruses, ba-ba-backing vocals. helter skelter momentum, New Wave mayhem and pastoral hippy interludes, sometimes all within the same song, nay, the same line.

The last album which covered such varied ground with such consummate ease and poptastic results was Parklife. People were practically syringing their ears to make room for the sound symphony then. Is it too much to hope that Super Furry Animals get the exposure which will allow them to tickle the parts other bands can't even see? (Fiona Shepherd)

brimming With great performances, Stewart sings some of the best vocals of her life While McIntyre and chums

prowde gentle, sympathetic baCklng. ' The country element is always Subtle,

and While they flirt With the great

, songwriters of the 60s, Sugartown have no truck With bombast or kitsch. ; (AM)

1 Duffy

I Love lvly Friends (Indolent) *w * t

Pity poor Duffy Always the bridesmaid, never the iiiulti-iiiillion selling ' recording artist Leavmg Duran Duran

in 1979, he tastes fame With ’Kiss Me',

returns to anonymity in The Lilac Time

and was last seen hanging around With

Alex Blur :n Me Me Me. More power to him then for turning such a non-career into this glorious album. /Love My Friends is the sound of an absurdly

talented man turning over his back

pages and translating that aching

F nostalgia into the kind of classic

' English pop that the Britpack woold

5 have given their Small Faces box set

for (PR)


: Soul II Soul Time For Change (Island) * * 4r t

' lame B and to make a welcome long ; player ieturri after a quiet spell

Highlights iange from the deep, funky

instrumental opener ’Camdino SOuI' ; and the slow, emotional female vocal 'Thank You' to the recent upbeat single ’Reprasent’ and the mid-tempo, i male—sung soulful uplifter ’Limit Is The I Sky’. Elsewhere, Ja22ie B lends his trademark spoken word raps to ’Time For Change’ and ’Dare To Differ’, While I ’I Feel Love’ is a Todd Terry-style vocal house surprise. You also get a remixed version of 'Reprasent’ This is timeless British s0u| mu5ic With real songs and quality production (JB)

JAZZ Cathryn Craig

Cathryn Craig (Goldrush) ir it 1k 1‘

The unlikely alliance of Perth-based

label and NashVille-based singer

prowdes a second album which

confirms the promise of Porch Songs Recorded in a studio this time, but With

a simple, down-home feel that recalls the earlier disc, the ac0ustic settings (With regular pickers Gary Hall and

Mark Wilkinson) prowde a superb showcase for her fine v0ice and mature emotional delivery Most of the

material is either co-written or self- composed by Craig, and the album marks another big step forward for a singer who has waited awhile for her chance, but is now reaping the I rewards of patience and persistence. i (KM)