record reviews


Bonfire (EMl) r set 1k *

Surely the last word in officral AC/DC collector's items, Bonfire was assembled as a tribute to the band’s hard-living, harder—drinking, Kirriemuir- born, vocalist, frontman and all round hell-raiser Bon Scott who succumbed to life in the iastlane-eighteen years ago. For the record, ‘Bonfire’ comprises a five CD box set of material all drawn from the period 1977—1980. Three of the CDs are previously unreleased: Live From The Atlantic Studios, a US radio broadcast from I977; the I978 concert movie s0undtrack Let There Be Rock < The Movie Live In Paris and Volts, a collection of embryonic studio versions of songs later to be heard on the Highway To Hell album. There are also miscellaneous live tracks and a remastered digipack edition of the band’s first post-Bon release Back In Black. Trivia freaks Will also be impressed with the deluxe booklet littered with prevrously unpublished photos, a double-sided poster, guitar pick, sticker, temporary tattoo and, of course, that essential bottle opener Cum keyring. Can yOu really live Without a four hour stornp fest and accompanying trinkets? Rates a ’must buy’ for the overgrown kid inside every headbanger. (LT)

Cheeky Monkey

Four Arms To Hold You (Big Deal)

* * 1t ‘k

Tragically the entire world supply of monkey gags has been used up on Ian Brown. Nuts. Here is one gloriously goofy, shamelessly soft- centred LP, the product of a whirlwind collaboration between Francis MacDonald (Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, Radio Sweethearts etc) and NYC trOubadotir Michael Shelley. As Our FranCis has played ‘v’Vllli iiist about every Glaswegian combo this side of Johnny and the Self Abusers, it's not entirely surprising that Four Arms is a cocktail of heart combusting Fanclub-like loveliness (‘That Kind Of Girl’) and Jonathan Ric'nmanes‘ciue whimsy (’Robert Lloyd’) as plundered by recent Bandits’ toons. Just what the Witch doctor ordered. (RE)

Cheeky Monkey: just what the witch doctor ordered

44 THE “ST 20 Feb-5 Mar i998

Nick Heyward

The Apple Bed (Creation) it it

The Jesus And Mary Chain, Nick Heyward . . . the way Alan McGee is going, Creation wrll soon be the nursing home for 80s popsters passed their peak rather than the self-styled ‘pantheon of pop’. Much as it is nice to see that dimpled Nick can still make a bob or two writing pure pop songs over fifteen years after his Haircut lOO heyday, it’s a sentimental rather than aesthetic reaction. Then, Heyward wrote fresh Vibrant songs; now he strays perilously close to the retro stodge of labelmates Hurricane No l and recent Beatles-meets-ELO Oasis moments. At best, it's pleasant stuff. (ES)

James Iha

Let It Come Down (Hut) a x t it Style-wise, there isn’t leagues of difference between what Nick Heyward and James Iha are doing ‘re: results-wise, Iha is iOSill'ig for promotion while Heyward nestles mid table. Maybe there’s the shock value (,‘f hearing Smashing Pumpkins’ cool guitarist open his heart so simply when you’re used to hearing him soundtrac 2-: Billy Corgan’s deep-seated demons, but wiry shouldn’t he go for a contrasting sound for his debut s(.'L) album? Switching heavy metal storm and drang for gentle acoustics and fragile melodies, Ilia has produced a cohesive collection of love songs which glow so prettily Willi Teenage Fanclubesque unaffected charm that you just have to give it a home (ES)

Imam Cappola

Chupacabra (Columbia) ii >t

On the sleeve, Ms Coppola realities in an artificial pasture (Teletubbies ahoy), chin cupped in her hand, and sporting a Spidery hairstyle that makes Janet Jackson’s recent efforts look totally conventional Notso-subliinziial message our Imani’s a ko< it. ‘.\.*i. i: .s a good thing in a musical cliiriate lllul ; seems to favour post-Alain") 'alternative' chicks and their ct:rnpla.nt rock Chupacabra is a daffy daisy age melange of hippy-liop, country and kitsch club styles and, yes, it's all ven. Beck-meets-Deee-Lite V.’lili a smitlgen of Arrested Development. In short, an irreprQSSIble personality Illltft tioiisly translated into a blast of a debut album (FS)



ROCK Pearl Jam Yield (Epic) it a: air it

Pearl Jam yield a fine album .

With Nirvana long gone, Soundgarden calling it a day and Alice In Chains treading water, it seems it's now left to Pearl Jam to keep the tattered Seattle flag flying. (Under) produced by long-term associate Brendan O'Brien and the band themselves, Yield measures up as a more robust and all-round grittier album than either of its immediate predecessors and probably ranks as Pearl Jam’s finest moment since the bizarrely

under-sung V.

Things get off to a blistering start with the dementoid punk rock drive of ‘8rain Of 1’ but with the exception of the equally charged '00 The Evolution’, the balance of the tracks is rather more downbeat and introspective ~ even melancholic. It is, however, still carried off with more than a fair quota of grit - as on 'Faithfull‘. 'No Way', ’Given To Fly', 'Pilate', 'MFC' and 'In Hiding', all of which bear the distinctive stamp of definitive

Pearl Jam.

Maybe the arrival of a new Pearl Jam album isn’t quite the cutting-edge occasion it once was but nevertheless any rumours of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. While Yield is hardly the most starkly innovative album you'll chance upon this year, it comes fortified with enough proof that at least one act will be keeping Seattle in the front line for a while yet.

(Lawrie Thomas)

Head Like A Buffalo Bite The Wax Tadpole (Uncanny Recordings) a s-

; The first release ()'I th.s Hedging

l l

Edinburgh label features a toms " ,' 4 .‘ pSytiietlel rot leis who, Iii one t: 'rr. Or anothe', thine been gzjy‘ga'ig artyinzi

the E«'liribu:gli trittiit tor a couple it

years. Unfortunately, their debut t'ltrvi'i".

track isn’t an t Iectrifyirig affair Guitars swrrl aimlessly white the female vocals are song in an almost icilky manner which sits uneasily Wllli the rest of tin- rnusic The overall effect is lllllfltl‘,‘ an,i soonds dated WilliULll picking up JIT,’ vi./Otild-be retro tool (JT)

June Of 44

Four Great Points (Qaiteistéck Records) a.- iv e-

ihis is a quirky offering from at American loin-piece that starts ‘.‘.l'.". introspectixe gtiitars being gently pi. f--. .1 and strummed into soothing washes while soft vocals are gently murmured Then, post as you’re settling down for a spot of rest and relaxation, the melody turns to mayherri and someone starts shouting In between the two extremes, there are bursts of leltfield pop complete With lyrics such as ’Take down your art.’ All very avant-garde in an uncomplicated way and interestineg offbeat WlihOlll forgetting the tunes. (JT)

Warm Jets Future Signs (Island) ‘k it it

Here come the Warm Jets! Tlev't e got a lot gomg for them: a girlfriend who

(lays the: records on national radio, a catchy hit record called ’Never Never’ with a proper chorus and everything, a fit Sil"‘,t.’i ohm, v.on’t look like a shaved monkey on Top Of The Pops. There go the Warm Jets' They've got problems: tr. 'Vayoor irails', they wannabe Ra.:ii;liea<i soooooo bad they probably pol-rd rilet_tiiiriis in their eyes until they developed squints, Zoe Ball’s been (hut kei so a vengeful airplay ban could threaten, the Singer would clearly be glad to look like a shaved monkey it Thom Yorke or David Bowie did it fiist. Success is such a fine line, don’t you think? (PR)

The Dust Junkys

Done And Dust (Polydor) it 1t it t

In which Nicky Lockett, aka MC Tunes of 808 State, gathers together a crack team of programmers, DJs, drummers and a whizz kid guitarist. Their aim: to meet at the crossroads where rock gieets the record spinners and to wipe the dancefloor With a caustic solution of Mancunian-style rapping, intricate guitar licks and booty-shaking boss grooves. It’s upfront and up in arms but prefers funking to fighting. (JT) Surcrde

Suicide (Blast First) it r at it

This re-release of the New York duo's eponymous debut will not be to everybody’s tastes. Martin Rev’s keyboards drone and hum and pulse while Alan Vega's vocals veer sharply between monotone menace and