record reviews

POP 911 Moving On (Ginga) air a:

In a genre not noted for its progresswe qualities, teenybop trio 911's idea of 'movmg on' seems to involve wading further into the turgid ballad mire and the sub-Kool And The Gang boogie blunderland, although Provrdence has intervened to curb any tendency to embrace the ’fly’, 'dope' swmgbeat

I mediocrity of other boy bands. Instead,

! 911 are going for the old-fashioned

i approach -- the Gary Barlow effect, if you Will. With its ponderous

! sentiments and r_iiildren's choir, the title track COuId even make it on to a Mike And The tv‘iecliaiiics album The trio redeem themselves slightly With 'lvlake You My Baby', their approxirriatiori of a Northern Soul track, but for the most part, Moving On belongs in the early 80s With your Shalimars and your Imaginations. (FS)

ROCK Arnold

Hillside (Creation) sic air-«wt

Pitched somewhere between Buffalo Springfield, Big Star, Crowded House and Teenage Fanclub, Creation’s least hyperbolic band have crafted an as5ured debut of pop rlasSicism that

, stands comparison to The La’s.

I An endearing, intriguing brew of acoustic strumming, gorgeous harmonies, full-on riffage arid wacked- out psyclit‘idelia, HIT/side would sound

I equally beatific iii sun-baked San Fran l or dTIZZly (Sieeiiock. Previous Singles

l 'Fleas Don't Fly' and ’Fislisouiids' showcase their retro, rootsy sOuiid to

v best effect, but the groovesome rock

i of 'lra Joires Goes To The Country’ and i spoken-word weirdness of ’Rabbit'

reveal more strings to their bow. It’s fab, dad. (PR)


Rhinoplasty (Interscope) us «it a:

A very weird covers album, Rhinoplasty’s rai's'on d’etre appears to be to show the incredible breadth of this oddball trio’s tastes. Thus we are treated to versions of songs by XTC, Metallica, Peter Gabriel, funk

f bassiiieister Stanley Clarke and The

i Police tperversely, it's an all-but- forgotten Andy Summers

42 THE lIST 9—23 Jul 1998

instrumental). Coming from the place where funk-metal meets art-rock and starts gibbering manically, it's actually quite engaging, a lot more so than Primus’s perenially awful sleeve art suggests. These, and two live bonus tracks at the‘end, confirm that they can handle their instruments pretty well too. (AM)

Abra Moore

Strangest Places (Arista) is e a t

In the States, where Strangest Places has been out for the best part of a year, Abra Moore has taken the country by storm. And it’s not hard to see why. This is an album groomed for success. Coming over like Rickie Lee Jones by way of Joan Osbourne, the former Poi Dog Pondering singer can wax intimate and confessional, but most of the time the seduction is carried out by some irresistible pop hooks. And not even those with heavier or more alternative tastes are safe. Like so many major label albums, it could have been designed by a committee, but unlike most Strangest P/aces leaves one With more of a sense of begrudging admiration than dismissive contempt. (AM)


Audiopeach (Mute) fir at

Screw the content, it's all in the form. You've got this record sussed before you even listen to the damn thing. The cover is antiseptic,lkea-hued, Modish chic that screams, or rather,wryly coos, 'St. Etienne’. Or worse still,’St. Etienne- Iite'. Which is pretty damn lite. Why anyone would be remotely interested in listening to a record by two academic svengalis, a glaCial blonde

singer and a lot of twrttering

electronica masquerading under the spurious notion of 'Perfect Pop’, that isn’t by St. Etienne, buggers belief. Look to Madonna's Ray of Light to see how this sort of thing shOuld really be done. Still, pretty colours on the front and that. (PW)

Butterfly Child

Soft Explosives (Hit Recordings)

at 1% air

Butterfly Child is a man called Joe Cassidy, the sort of chap the bearded monthlies would doubtless call a Pop Sculptor or somesuch. We more sane mortals would probably say he's a big dew-eyed softie who knows where all the chords go and recognises a good

' '3

911: not moving on very much


:9‘ and the New Power Generation

New Power Soul (NPG / BMG) at ‘k 1: it:

«9‘: wants to butter your muffin' apparently

To the beat y’all/'nd ya don’ stop. Thus would seem the moral code by which he-who-was Victor continues to operate, New Power Soul being around the 23rd CD he has released in the last two years. Almost without anyone noticing, r‘?‘ has constructed a completely unique sort of a career, the full ramifications of which, one suspects. will only become clear in retrospect. when it can all be laid sparkling out end-to-end.

Here we have an Artist engaged in an ongoing project. strewing his path with sketches from that larger work-in-progress. As ever then, NPS makes the most sense when considered in intertextual relation to the rest of t?"s output, rather than any developments in the real world. With two exceptions. it's on the up. in that patented tight-loose psyche/soul/funk organic machine manner: horns raise their head far more than of late. in far more focused patterns . . . in short, it’s a party. Charting his trajectory over the years, the only conclusion to be drawn is that r?- is closing in on something monstrously wonderful. In the meantime, here he is 'laying phat claims to the booty' with ’the butter for your muffin' at the ready. Roll on.

(Damien Love)

string arrangement when he hears one. Witness the Gregorian loveliness of 'Big Soft Mouth', the baroque, tea 'n‘ aCid romantiosm of the optimistically titled 'Number One' and the swathes of well-meaning whimsy to curdle even the most stringent cynic. Though never bland enough to be truly detestable, it's still too shy of enough real muscle to garner the love it so clearly craves Hardly life-changing but, um, 'pleasant' nonetheless. (PW)


Volume 8: The Threat Is Real (Ignition) it: at a at

In their time, New Yorkers Anthrax rubbed shoulders With Metallica and Slayer at the spearhead Of the mid-803 speed metal explosion before recording arguably the definitive rap/metal crossover anthem when they teamed up With Public Enemy on 'Bring The NOise’. Fast forward to 98 and the

’thrax’s first album in three years comes

desciibed by the band themselves as 'inspired by Bob Mould' Not that this is by any means a Husker Du tribute album in dingise or anything such like. Initially Starting out where the last two albums left off The Threat sounds like another bludgeoning fistful of typical Anthrax roughouse; however, as things progress, it becomes clear that somewhere along the line Anthrax have picked up a taste for all things

Pearl Jam. At times vocalist John Bush sails very close to Eddie Vedder-Iand, With the band easing back as the occasion demands although the familiar firepower is always there to be screwed on when needed. Whether Volume 8 rates as Anthrax's finest moment is almost a moot pomt what matters is they're back bringing the noise for 98 and not as tired, toothless slaves to the past. (LT)

The Dandys

Symphonic Screams (Artificial Recordings) the

Witness The Dandy's on the cover of this, their first (and, face it guys, last) LP, all (B)lurred and pious, gazing gauntly from beneath tousled mops. So far, so what? What's the point in 98 in being a whiteboy Britpop band, still spinning on that hackneyed Beatles/Kinks aXlS, singing cod- insightful, cod-psychedelic Vignettes about drag queens and dirty weekends? A hopeless desperation permeates this record, a sense of utility in still banging on like it's 1995 (when everybody was banging on like it was 1966). Is there anything more pathetically obsolete than an anachronistic anachronism, a pastiche of a pastiche? Answers on a Menswear single. So pity the Dandys then, but not enough to actually buy this piffle.