reCord reviews

ROCK Mojave 3 Out or Tune (4AD) "kc' e.-

If it’s not too much of a euphemism to describe a musician’s gallant efforts as 'ideal background music’, then Motave 3 have achieved Just that With their second album. Driving forces Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell were no strangers to plangent guitars and sunburst atmospherics in their prevrous guise as shoegazers Slowdive. With lvloiave 3 they add other colours to their palette country and electric folk influences mainly. 'Baby’s Coming Home' is an understated country lament, 'Keep It All Hid' With its suppressed Hammond is in a Dylan state of mind, while the album's one epic ’Caught Beneath Your Heel' has a distinct Spiritualized flavour to its m0urnfu| soul. Laudable namechecks, but it's all a bit too tasteful to hit the emotional heights (FS)


A Walk in The Park (Island) .:=:. We could be in the presence of the band to make 'indie Supergroup' seem like a good idea rather than an oxymoron Take one part Powder, one part Supergrass and two parts Delicatessen, mix in some sexual chemistry and Bowre influences to taste and you have Lodger's bodacious debut album which sounds nothing

like the parts of its sum If there’s any ; general comparison to be made, it's ; With the am drarn glam of Suede, only

way more playful YOU may be familiar

With their heavrly-ai'piayed first single

'l'm Leavrng', a boy/girl hate duet which holds The Beautiful South’s ’A Little Time' to ransom (PS:-

Vic Chesnutt

The Salesman And Bernadette (Pinnacle) e

DaChezz is back, as sly and scabrous as ever, his cat-scratch muse this time sympathetically shaded by Kurt Wagner's Lambchop. Over the past decade Chesnutt has accrued a fervent Cult followrng With his predominantly solo, searing and defiantly uncompromising albums His work's rooted firmly (if perhaps a little

unsteadilv) under the big, hazy,

tangerine sun of some semi-mythical, sozzled Savannah a dusky world of

44 TllEllST 24 Sep—8 Oct 1998

gothic Americana, of tiny details and epic romance, whimsical and deadly, desperately sad and hilariously cruel. His words spew from the uncluttered, Lou Reed school of deadpan literacy, his melodies skeletal and subtle. If before, a certain amount of indulgent perserverance was required, here the songs coerce quickly into a warm, woozy and utterly persuasive Whole. (PW)

Buffalo Tom

Smitten (Beggars Banquet) :5: tr e Three years after Sleepy Eyed, the Tom trio return with another solid set of heartfelt rockers. In many ways, Smitten IS a stunningly accurate example of what many American bands excel in: hell for leather, ballsy numbers with huge choruses that seem custom built for bellowrng along to while driving up some endless, sunlit highway in a convertible. Not entirely practical given Scotland’s climate, but the sentiment remains the same. Imagine Springsteen when impersonating a blue-collar worker on a night on the town. (JT)

Cowboy Junkies

Miles From Our Home (Geffen) 5351?: A lot more full-bodied than u5ual, Miles From Our Home sees the Junkies flesh out their usually skeleton-like compositions With a sleeker, more groomed sound. Margo Timmons’ v0ice, especrally on tracks like ’Blue Gurtar’, still has this deep, rich quality," listening to it is like drowning in honey. Elsewhere, things are a bit more upbeat, poppy even, although obvrously still a million miles from the brash inanity of Aqua et a/ All very

, grown-up and soothing UT)

12 Rods

' Split Personalities (V2)

As every female impersonating, opera singing, albino Rabbi acupuncturist Will attest, originality doth not always Success attain. A Cursory delve into 12 Rods' ouevre suggests that musically they are, as the title suggests, a cosmically confused, Hydra-headed schizophrenic beast unsure whether it

' is fish, fowl or anything in between

The Gay? riiini-album from earlier this

year hinted at a genuinely interesting, refreshing expeiimentalisiri, fusing as it (lid the Wired boho yawnrngs of prime lane's Addiction \‘.’illl some bizarre confection of swath-driven, :andy-floss

art-metal But an entire album of such


Moloko: not doctors but we like their tight sweaters

ROCK Marilyn Manson

Mechanical Animals (lnterscope / Universal) a. a:

Among certain French intellectual cliques. it has long been an'interesting

moral parlour game to debate whether

the greater good would be served by travelling back through time and preventing the birth of David Bowie,

thereby eliminating the flotillas of junk \

to have surfaced in his wake. Until Marilyn Manson appeared. the issue was routinely resolved simply by playing Sound And Vision and watching everybody smile. Recently, the arguments have raged long and bloody through the night.

'We were neurophobic/And perfect/ The day that we lost our souls/ Maybe we weren’t so human I If we cry we

ll 2

i ,, -

Marilyn Manson: no

will rust / And I was a hand grenade / That never stopped exploding / You

were automatic and / As hollow as the

'o‘ in God‘

These, the opening lines from the title track of Marilyn Manson's new record, actually aren‘t the worst lyrics the album contains. but are fairly indicative of the dizzying level of asininity sustained throughout its writing. Some of the music - randomly generated post-modernist industrioglam - stomps and is passable. The good thing about Marilyn Manson is that they offend people who are more gormless than they are. The bad thing is that they undoubtedly have fans who try and get their mates to call them Fred West, which is more than a little sad. His name is Brian. And he isn’t funky.

(Damien Love)

up to lo-li roots. Their first album was

American college rock album you've ? heard numerous times, veering from

aimlessly indulgent butt-floss is surely too much even for the most ardent s0nic explorer. (PW)


For All The Beautiful People (Beggar's Banquet) 2-3:

Hailing from San Francisco and not from Glasgow, Swell are happy to own

l l l i

an (infeasiny limited edition of 433 (why 4337 Who knows7 Their lucky number maybe). Eight years later they are on to their fifth With no obvrous signs that the WOrld is gomg to pay attention this time round, and no particular demands for attention from the laidback trio. Like all cool Americans, they don't try too hard, letting you come to them That said, For All The Beautiful People is an

rumbling melancholia Willi brooding basslrnes and fuzzy giiitars to slightly twisted mid-paced garage pop, reminiscent of Mercury Revs more

coherent moments (F5)

Mercury Rev Deserter's Songs (V2) ..;,. .3 .42. .5,

1 When vocalist DaVid Baker left Mercury

Rev in 1993 he took With him an annOyrng we—are-leftfield tendency to smother their well-crafted songs in blankets of feedback in his absence, the band made See You On The Other Side, an American classic akin to Pet Sounds On Deserter’s Songs, the writing partnership of Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper is equally fruitful as they throw various 70s folksy rock shapes think CSNY and Syd Barret -— to upliftineg melancholic effect, even dragging in members of The Band to guest on a couple of tracks The result, Simultane0usly old- fashioned and futuristic, is naggingly addictive (PR)

Electrasy Beautiful insane (MCA) ..<:.

Havrng scored a minor hit With bland Oasis-a-lrke single 'Morning Afterglow', Electrasy continue their iourney into mediocrity With an album which fortunately doesn't recall a pallrd version of Gallagher, Gallagher and co No, there's more of an inspiral Carpets vrbe, really Chirpy Hammond organ, disposable melodies and guitars whic h can be grunged up at Will. There's a slight departure on the title track, a slow-burn space ballad with depth charge drums Which s0unds Sublime in such undistrngtiished company All the Electrasy elements come together most ambitiously on 'Today's The Day', a mini-symphony which breaks the cheese barrier, sounding like Sabbath, The DOOrs, Pink Floyd and Inspiral Carpets, but still fails to bear out the

: connotations of their name (FS)


lAm Not A Data (Echo) ‘-'=:' 1+: :==: When Moloko first showed up, the duo were pretty much written off as

' yet another among that post-

Portishead clone wave, largely due to the creepy-croaky cat growl, sort-of- vaguely-like-Billie-Holiday-but-of- course-it's-not-really, quality of singer ROiSin's vocals Seeing them live, it all made much more sense, and it became

clear that Moloko were, after all, a far

more deeply funk proposnion This, their second album, following their debut’s equally splendidly titled Do You Like My Tight Sir/eater is a truly, unaffectedly eccentric creation, sort of like Siouxsie, Portrshead, Cabaret

Voltaire, George Clinton, Kraftwerk and some weird lllllngd-Up teenager t holding a summit meeting in a

replrcant warehouse With Grace Jones rapping on the Window. But equally, rather unique. I have no idea. (DL)