record reviews



3 Car Garage The Indie Recordings 95-96 (Mercury) a: it

Realising that it's only a matter of time before all of Hanson's balls drop and they become The Eagles, their record Company are kindly furnishing the public With as much adolescent material as they can possibly extort from the teen cherubs. Like this collection of recordings they found on a dusty C90 in Hanson's attic in a box marked 'Taylor’s Secret Things Keep Out Or Else’. So if that quest means releasing a bunch of substandard demos of a nascent pop phenomenon, including a less sparky version of 'Mmmbop’ and a lot of ponderous ballads which would otherwrse have been ditched as ‘part of the learning process', so be it Thing is, Hanson have happily endorsed this folly, preferring not to wait till they die before re-releasing the early boring stuff. Whatever next ~~ The Spice Girls to promote The Audition Tapes? (FS)


Mover (Superior Quality) a

It's no surprise worthy of anyone's conniption fit here, that this London five-piece have occupied live slots With The Bluetones. Less surprising is how they can allow themselves to pen mental homilies like 'you've got to make the most of your beans on toast/you've gotta get by With your chips and pie' All ]()H‘/ toe-tapping nonsense if they could only concentrate on reproducing the likes of 'Let's Bond' a genuinely touching paean to love and loss rather than a tribute to his OO7-ness. Chris Evans Will be championing Mover next week. (80)

His Name Is Alive

Fort Lake (4A0) «r s a 22s

Last heard masquerading as The Beach BOys, HNIA’s fifth circular Offering Is as flagrantly mystifying as it is wantonly gorgeous. How does one begin to describe a record so eclectic as to make mish-mas‘hers of the calibre of Beck and Cornershop resemble creatively neutered, two-bit rockers? One track alone is enough to invoke 80s synth pop, My Bloody Valentine, prime time Prince, and, erm, The Knack. Brave, s0ulful, cerebral, comic, Dadaist, inscrutable, this is one special record, You don't even have to swallow the hype because, this being a AAD product,

46 THE LIST 11—25 Jun I998

there isn’t any. Merely good vibrations. (RE)

Pat DiNizio

Songs And Sounds (Velvel) ‘k r t at The man whose talents shaped the sheer songwriting beauty of half a dozen Smithereens albums heads out in a new direction. DiNizio himself forms the mainbrace on gurtar and vocals; in comes the chunky bass sound of ex-Strangler Jean Jacques Burnel, the jazz sophistication of Miles Davis saxophonist Sonny Fortune and the steady hand of drummer Tony Smith from Lou Reed’s band. Song structure and reedy vocal style hints that Elvis Costello may have walked down these corridOrs once upon a time; but when Fortune is given freer reign, those ClaSSIC three-minute pop songs slip into the background and the smoke of a thousand Jazzy cellars fills the air. (AMor)

Bear Schadenfreude (Vespertine) yr» sir i: a:

‘Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council’ reads the sleeve. High time their money went to something a little more musrcally leftfield, it must be said. Opening With the haunting brass of 'Binary', this sees Sheffield's finest (sorry, JarVis) putting the art back into Art-Rock. We qurckly see that the loud gurtar and rasping vocal is far from redundant in the hands of Chris Trout and friends, as they rally against complacency and smugness in 905 Britain. A veteran of Spoonfed Hybrid and AC Temple, Trout has all the credentials to make his mark, and this album should rust about do the trick (CR)

Elliott Smith

Either/Or (Domino) x- a

With his song 'Miss Misery' prominently featured in Good Will Hunting, Smith was last seen valiantly battling in vain to wrest a tiny golden Oscar from the mevrtable, odiously- manicured clutch of Celine Dion. In comparison With that tune, the landscape of Either/Or is affectingly ragged, though more polished than the vorce/solo-gUitar stylings of Smith's first two records. Here he replicates a full, albeit spartan, band sound, playing every instrument himself. While ’No Name NoS' gently whispers into the vacuum of Beck’s 'Blackhole’ and ’Cupid's Trick’ sees Sonic Youth as toddlers trying not wake the rest of the nursery, the predominant vrbe is a hipper Simon and Garfunkel 60s thing as experienced by Sebadoh dreaming of Big Star. Which is a recommendation. (DL)

Pernice Brothers

Overcome By Happiness (Rykodisc)

ac at at 9t

Alternative Country was, and remains, " an utterly reprehensible, thoroughly meaningless label; that said, until their break-up last year, the Scud Mountain Boys were among the brightest lights shining on the Alternative Country scene. For this unassumineg sublime record, former Scud Joe Pernice links arms With brother Bob and various members of the New Radiant Storm Kings and the Lilys, then calls in a ten- piece orchestra. The result is a mellow

Embrace: good deeds for the day

ROCK Embrace The Good Will Out (Hut) ax a

In the summer of 1998, what else is there for a youthful Britpop band to do but ape Oasis and The Verve? Well, as we all know, there are a million more creative and rewarding things to do than that. The wonder is that. having chosen the least imaginative course open to them. Embrace have managed to make an LP that still manages to impress by its exuberance and self- assuredness. But they are skating on very thin ice. It can't be denied that Oasis' poor showing on Be Here Now is a major factor in Embrace coming across as comparatively sparkling.

They muster all the arrogance of youth on 'All You Good Good People', which adopts the same swaggering tone as Oasis‘ ‘D‘You Know What I Mean?’, albeit backed by massed ranks of strings and brass. Truth to tell, The Good Will Out is not short on Gallagher~derived anthems. And Embrace’s struggle for an identity is cruelly exposed on 'Fireworks’, which threatens throughout to turn into ‘The Drugs Don‘t Work’. But if their rocking-out numbers sound like hand-me-downs, they’re far more convincing on the more introspective, vulnerable tracks, like ’My Weakness ls None Of Your Business' and the last quarter of the album. Forget the rest - this is where Embrace excel. (Alastair Mabbott)

l Teenage Fanc'lub come up \‘xliii in their

Captain Beefheart’s 'Plastic Factory? And, yes, in places SOS sound exactly like the band you've lust imagined Elsewhere they curiously suggest the noise a Nuggets-style US garage group might have made if they'd been filtered through an early Stiff Records produc tron funnel Sexy Death Soda, in fact, are on evolved form of Liguor Cabinet, the early 90s hand in which SDS singer Steaksauc e (then operating under the ludic ious name of Steven Hant't) occasionally shared songwriting chores \‘.‘lif‘ Beck Summer muSic of a

specific, drrty—beach-barbecue-at-

: twilight kind (DL)


The Gentle Art Of ( ei‘aditioning


Lower should lie interesting because, in an early inc ainatrort, they worked on reriiixing 'Pltrg iciyself In for deranged lularkE Smith On the c“.’l(f(‘ll((f of this,

their debut album, however, Lower

: could be doing vxith a cuff round the

ear from old l.‘:arky, because they really

do need to be bucking up their ideas a

bit It starts off okay as 'Low Jesus'

comes in on a scruffy Stooges-like garage rumble, but then Stan Spelman, a truly horrible singer, opens his mouth and the ‘.'.'hole album wades right into a banged-up urinal Bad lyrics are, sincerely delivered as though they had something interesting and

really, really important to say 'l'd rather

pop swoon of an album, full of the traditionalist - and none the worse for it sort of song struc turing that

more reflective moments Overall, less Gram Parsons than a (very) slight WiISOn/Bacharach inflection. tDLl

Monster Magnet

Powertrip (A8ilvl)

Seasoned travellers of the spac et'xays, Monster Magnet continue to nurse the mother of stylistic and thematic hangovers from the high times of the late 60s/early 70s on this, their fourth album-length trip to the void They're specialists in spacey, rrff—heaw garage psychedelia it's like hearing the ‘.'~.")rlcs of Syd Barrett being recycled by an all- star collision of Hawkvvind and Black Sabbath In a word, these are ‘out there' sounds for ‘out there' people, and sonic nirvana for anyone With a weakness for Fu Manchu, Corrosion Of Conformity and Kyuss Point yourself at the stars and let it wash all over you Cosmic, and then some 1LT)

Sexy Death Soda

California Police State (Borigload) st" 7*, w

You’ll have a general idea where a band might becoming from lf ‘,"i',ll c‘Ombine the facts that at they‘re on Bongload, b) their debut album is named after a collage by Jello Biafra and ct it contains a cover version of