record reviews


Meth O.D. Dry Riser (Methodisk) r 1k 1k

Although Meth 00. are not one of the usual namedrops when talking about skewed noise pop capital Glasgow, this second album is a worthy bid for some recognition beside The Delgados of this world. Dry Riser whips up a storm of attitude, reminiscent of The Jesus And Mary Chain and American badass rockers likes Girls Vs Boys. 'Turbopop Take-Off', in particular, is an appropriately-named supercharged instrumental. The only thing which hinders unreserved recommendation is a tendency to drag heels on the slower tracks, and a wander off into tweesville at the end, but overall this is a pithy statement of intent. (FS)


Fantasma (Matador) 1: air * *

Taking his monicker from the sensitive hairy scientist played by Roddy ’Insane' McDowall in the Planet Of The Apes cycle, Cornelius is otherwise known as subversive Japanese pop-terror-genius Keigo Cyamada. Like all the other good records around just now, it sounds like all the other good records ever made jumbled together in tomorrow’s washing machine with, like, comics and films and telly and other pop stuff chucked in, too. Oh, and the Beach Boys turned way up in the mix. If a trifle annoying in places (see ’Magoo Opening'), it's still a chimp-shitter of an album. (DL)

The Pecadiloes Caught On Venus (A&M) * 1k 1* 1r

Eclectic catholicism, let's go. As the likes of Spiritualized and Money Mark have shown in the last year, it is more than feasible to hold mOre than one idea together within an album’s span. The Pecs’ version is an overtly harsher and discordant kind which simultaneously makes the chest thump and the ears trickle. 'Coming Undone' is Frank Black on a David Lynch soundtrack; 'Kirsten’s Beach' has a kooky guitar loop overlaid by vocals from a fifteen-year-old Bart Simpson; 'Peace And Quiet‘ may well turn up at Bono’s funeral. One of the Pecadiloes is called Pip. (BD)

Barry Adamson

As Above So Below (Mute) at ‘k air a: The mood meister returns with another intriguing album of louche-sounding lounge tracks. 'Jazz Devil' stands out as a superlative example of Adamson's art with Bazzer crooning like a sleazy Satan turned seductor over a dangerous cocktail of late night, big band jazz grooves. lf sex was sonic then this is what it would sound like. Listen carefully and you can hear Adamson licking his lips lasciviously. Music for swinging lovers indeed. (JT)

The Commercials

Backstabbing Primadonna (Flotsam and Jetsam) * t *

A promising eight track CD from a Glasgow band who are picking up a growing following. There's a lot of different styles on here from the

opening stompalong of 'Tea For Two’ via the countrified jangle of ‘Primadonna' to the more raw psychedelic jamming of ’Runaway'. On a completely different tack, 'Monochromonotony‘ wouldn’t sound out of place on an album of Sergeant Pepper era Beatles' outtakes. All this makes for a colourful mix of moods if you're in a charitable frame of mind and an incoherent hotchpotch if you’re

.not. Should be good in a live setting


Marcy Playground

Marcy Playground (Capitol) 1? iv sir Listeners of Jo Whiley may already have been lulled with the sickly infectious, slacker mentality of 'Sex And Candy'. J. Wozniak and Co would seem to have spent many wasted, dreamy days in downtown New York. 'The Shadow of Seattle’ is an odd nod to some sense of West Coast rivalry, and there are definite hints of The Pixies, albeit in a laid back way. Despite a turn of melody reminiscent of Suzanne Vega at times, the likes of ’Opium' and the afore mentioned killer single more than compensate. Sex and drugs and candy are what they do best, inspiring songs to waste the summer away with. (FW)

The Jimi Hendrix


BBC Sessions (Experience Hendrix/MCA) it w sir “k

With Jimi at the height of his stoned creativity and the band at their most dynamic, these sessions feature pretty much all of the material recorded for the BBC in 1967 from familiar family favourites to Dylan’s rarely performed 'Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window'. As well as featuring thirteen previously unreleased tracks, spoken introductions and the sounds of BBC office staff partying on 'Hear My Train', the 1969 Lulu TV Show melee gets its first official outing at last, With the band scrapping 'Hey Joe' midway, jamming on 'Sunshine Of Your Love' and being put off air. (MS)

Mindless Drug Hoover Top Banana (Deviant) wk :4:

As his name suggests, Mindless has a fixation. Armed with his acoustic guitar, zebra striped furry trousers and presumably large amounts of narcotics, he strums his take on life. POSSIbly the bastard son of John Shuttleworth and Mike Harding (the Rochdale Cowboy, remember him?), he adopts the humour of the latter and musical delivery of the former. He is, of course, having a laugh, but after 21 tracks with lyrics like 'Don’t take Ecstasy, if you're going to your mum and dad's for tea', and enchantineg titled songs such as ’Fuck Off’ or Sony About The Shag', the mind is a vacuum. (FW)

Various Artists

More Of Our Stupid Noise '98 (Nettwerk Productions) 4r fir xk

Put together lovmgly by Lee Maslin of Toronto's Squirtgun Records, this is a rollercoaster ride of 25, mostly Canadian, underground bands. Sonic Youth influences are heavy, and though several fall short of the mark, there's enough quality and diversity to keep it on track. The Eels-esque

ii 3. 93.

sounding Elevator To Hell stand out, as do Speedbuggy, Scratching Post and the American band Versus. It is Poledo that steal the show though, with a sweeping mini epic called 'Henskin’. A spot of danceability is even provided by ’Hip Club Groove'. Well worth a listen. (FW)


My Obsession With Elizabeth Montgomery (Blue Dog/V2) w it it What a concept an album inspired by actress Elizabeth Montgomery who, in her most celebrated role, played Samantha the housewife-cum-Witch in the cult US 60s TV series Bewitched. That said, Wolverhampton's Daytona set themselves a hard task to live up to the source of their inspiration, creating an album that’s a blend of the bright and occasionally breezy, the downbeat, the melodic (though gritty when circumstances demand) and the thoroughly indie. Despite the Montgomery connection, 'beWitching' isn’t really the adjective that springs to mind. (LT)

The Evil Superstars

Boogie-Children-R-Us (Paradox)

a at: it

Belgians tend to take a fair bit of stick for producmg little of any import or worth. The Evrl Superstars may fail in altering this erroneous prejudice but at least they know how to scare the living wits out of an OVEF-SQHSIUV’: reviewer. Most of Boogie-Chi/dren-R- Us is a trial in patience, but there are moments when the superstar overcomes the evrl. Track With names like 'My Little Dead One and ’Laserblack’ give you an idea of the harshness at the heart of this record, but the gentler moments ’Love Happened' and ’lt's A Sad, Sad Planet' make the torture worth anyone’s while. (80)

Bernard Butler

A Change Of Heart (Creation) *‘k at On the evidence of this, St Bernard seems to have given up songwriting and roped in Boyzone to pen his numbers. This doesn’t necessarily indicate an entirely feckless four minutes in his company, just that better should be expected. Eric Claptondom beckons. (BD)

record reviews MUSIC

Funky monkey: Cornelius goes ape

Fatboy Slim

The Rockafeller Skank (Skint) ant

A mildly innovative grinding to a sweaty halt midway through this dancefloor surefire hit saved it from raw contempt for its repetition and rank ordinariness. Once upon a time rock 'n’ pop fella Norman Cook had his wealthy rnits on this one. (80)

The Smashing Pumpkins

Ava Adore (Hut) t it it

Their first single in two years, and few waits have been less worth the bother. Admittedly, they’ve had their share of moments, but this standard leaden guitar funk could have their fans becoming doubters. Come on Billy, you can do better. (BD)

The Montrose Avenue Shine . . . (Columbia) *

Now that this lot's hype has settled, it’s time to take stock they are mince. They really, really are. They warble 'what’s it all about?/don’t ask me‘. Absolutely no idea. (BD)


Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

(Polydor) fir * 'k at After the glories of last year’s

l eponymous debut album, the Silvery

Sunnies return with their successful formula of sweet harmony and uncanny ability to change more chords in three and a bit minutes than some bands do in a lifetime. Lighter of weight than before, but Still truly top. (BD)

The Amazing Royal


Do the Devil (Velvel) * ‘k

The more words in a band's title, the more barmy they insist on being, it seems. There's a wild horn section and a bloke bellowing about being the devil. This one though, does not have the best tune. Fun, farcical and forgotten in seconds. (80)


Brian Donaldson, Damien Love, Fiona Shepherd, Malcolm Stewart, Lawrie Thomas, Jonathan Trew, Fin Wilson

STAR RATINGS * * at t i: Unmissable * i: * it Very ood * H Wort a shot a: 3% Below average it You've been warned

28 May— 11 Jun 1998 THE UST45