record reviews


John Barry

The Hits And Misses (Play It Again)

iv 11/

Before The Beatles, British pop was dominated by nice young men with shiny teeth and hair. Many of these had their songs written, arranged or conducted by John Barry and this album is largely compiled from such tunes by forgotten popsters called things like Bobby Shafto. The stand- out tunes on this massive 50 track compilation are the atmospheric, energetic instruirientals performed by the John Barry Seven, espeoally ’Hit And Miss', the theme tune to juke Box Jury. Overall, this early work by one of the world's greatest film score composers is a pop artefact of little intrinSIc‘ value. (PR)


The Nectarine No 9

Fried For Blue Material (Creeping Bent) a? e a at

Like the bastard offspring of Captain Beelheart and Johnny Thunders gang- banging Marc Bolan wrth Link Wray's guitar-neck, Davy Henderson's Nectarine No 9's third album is as wacked out, scuzzed up and psyched up as its predecessors And, judging by the song titles, Edinburgh’s most influential axe hero has spent a lot of time in the modern art gallery of late. It’s the same spiky, deconstructed pop Henderson's been scratching out since his days in The Fire Engines, but with value added mellow melody honed during the lost years. What they're on about is anybody's guess, but 'Port Of Mars' already sounds like an after- hours classic. The sound of old Scotland never sounded sweeter. (NCooper)

Groop Dogdrill

Half Nelson (Mantra) ‘Jr a? a: a:

Raucous Doncaster grease-monkeys Groop Dogdrill belong to the 50s

throwback Yankee swamp-rock musical

axis, but their milieu is as British as black pudding. At the start of 'Oin Reg Pete Spiby sex-moans ’Mmmm, Juicy Frurt!’ before wailing as if some chick on the Number Twelve to Barnsley nicked off with his Wrigley's Spearmint and didn't even write her

number on the bus ticket. The music is one-dimensional The Birthday Party on Boddies or M'etallica with a Quiff but it's a whole lotta fun so who cares? Groop Dogdrill: great for you; even better to share. (PR)


Close Continental DNA (Noisebox)

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As far as odds-and-sods, before-they- were-famous, early singles compilations go, it's hard to see where the demand for this Magoo comp comes in, unless I've been oblivious to the nationwide cries of 'we want early Magoo material! When do we want it? Now!’ But here it is anyway for all you NorWich noise pop completists. Weighing in at a very comprehensive 19 tracks, this is the entirety of their pre-Chemikal Underground recordings -- clearly dark days, when they had to mangle their fretboards to stop themselves going cra2y. The more palatable, tuneful efforts sound a bit like their current paymasters The Delgados. If The Delgados weren't at all tuneful. In years to come, Magoo may rule the airwaves and this kind of compilation will stand a chance of selling more than five copies. At the moment, it's only for the most avid of avid Magoo schmoos. (FS)


I Love My Friends (Cooking Vinyl)

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It's easy to draw comparisons between Stephen Duffy and Nick Heyward, so let's do it. Both burned brightly but briefly in the 805, both have carried on regardless away from the limelight and both have released new albums this year. Oh, and there's something else. Neither are very good Both go for a carefree, simple, summery, often acoustic approach and usually end up sounding either insubstantial or ponderous. This is The Lilac Time without the ability to beguile. Hand Edwyn Collins the same remit and he'd come up with something witty and sexy, or at least with a pulse. Duffy, on the other hand, rust sounds bloodless. (FS)


Soulfly (Roadrunner) * ii at “k

Max Cavalara, one time frontman and the driving force behind Sepultura returns with a new band, a new album and, for the most part, a rather similar sound to his alma mater. Soulfly build

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Gang Starr: outstripping the rest of the pack

HIP HOP Gang Starr Moment Of Truth (Noo Trybe) 1t * it: 1?

There aren't many hip hop acts with as instantly recognisable a sound as New York's Gang Starr who mark their return with what is probably the most eagerly awaited hip hop release since the Wu Tang's Forever. Much mimicked but seldom equalled, both in style and content. Guru and Premier's latest scrapbook of assorted street wisdom has been four years coming but ultimately it’s been worth the wait.

Right from the beginning. Gang Starr have been one of the greatest double acts in the annals of hip hop thanks to the combination of the soulful authority of Guru's virtually spoken word delivery and Premier's unmistakably classy way with the decks. The peculiar beauty of Gang Starr has always been the way they make everything sound so easy and. true to form. there's never any sense of anything being forced here on this album.

In keeping with Gang Starr's long avowed aim of spreading the gospel of real hip hop, Moment Of Truth sees Guru and Premier broadening the mix by inviting along a host of special guests. This is an album that's jammed with hot spots, each of them ample proof that Gang Starr is still several streets ahead of the chasing pack. (LT)

Jesus Lizard Blue (Capitol/Parlaphone) * at at *

on the formidable Sepultura sound of old, extending the innovative cross- cultural blend of fearsome metallic assault and Brazilian ethnic mu5ic. BeSides the ambitiously groundbreaking mood of the piece, other surprises encountered here include the involvement of Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato Jr and a raucous cover of Bra2ilian singer/songwriter Jorge Ben's (best known as the writer of bossa nova classic 'Mais Que Nada' the soundtrack to the current Nike ad) football anthem 'Umbabarauma'. Soulfly's debut looks destined to be a landmark release for 98. (LT)

Last seen around these parts at 95's T In The Park, when frontman Davrd Yow wowed the crowd clad only in a hotel towel, the Chicago quartet return with another shot of edgy, destabilised sounds from the margins of the straight and narrow. Produced by Gang Of Four member Andy Gill, messrs JL do what comes unnaturally: drag a typically uncompromising stash of songs from the darkest depths of the forementioned Mr Yow's twisted psyche. All told this is very much business as usual from a band who continue to plough their idiosynratic

DJ Cam furrow with no regard for the

The Beat Assasinated (Columbia) mainstream (m

it it t t . .

Abstract hip hop stylist DJ Cam returns vanous ArtISts . . . with his third album and chooses to N'nla CUIS 3 FunkunngS'On (N'nla mark the occasion by flipping his TU08) * * * *

As a parallel series to the now famed Mo'Wax Headz samplers, the Ninja Cuts compilations are a more than vivid illustration of the breadth of styles and the depth of invention to be currently

familiar instrumental script and striking out with a more full-on listening experience, bringing on board a selection of guest rhyming talent including Silva Bullet, Channel Live and

Groop Dogdrill: probably not best to take them home to meet the folks 48 THE lIST 16—30 Apr 1998


French rapper Dadou. While all this might translate as a shade mainstream relative to Cam's previous two albums Underground Vibes and Substances, rest assured the personality of the Gallic beat assassin never gets lost in the rush. Big on Gaulloise-style aftertaste and a lot more besrdes. (LT)

found lurking within the Ninja Tune roster. Colourfully described as 'Jackie Chan playing Herbie Hancock wearing George Clinton's boots-y’, this de-que double CD of aural exotica touches on almost every mood, vibe and flavour under the sun with contributions from Chocolate Weasal, Amon Tobin,