record reviews



Blues On the Bayou (MCA) a Reports from the veteran bluesman’s summer gig in Edinburgh suggested he was in good form, and that is pretty much borne out by this latest CD. He dispenses with the often inappropriate name guests and material of much of his recent output in favour of a no- frills, back to basics approach, recorded ’live’ in the studio With his regular working band. The vocals creak a little here and there, but his gurtar licks are as Vital as ever, and the band fits the music like a glove It breaks no new grOLind, but restores a freshness and spontaneity which seemed long gone. (KM)


The Johnny Seven

Bad Moustache! s;

This album isn't big and it isn’t clever it’s also at least two years too late to ride on the coat tails of the easy listening ’boom' when young people would don lurid shirts and ’groove on down' to the sounds of Andy Williams and Esotiivel However, The Johnny Seven, With 80 years (or something) of showbiz experience behind them, know that easy listening never really goes out of fashion It is never in fashion It is beyond fashion. Just ask the punters at Going Places Thus, Bad Moustache! recreates for you, the compliant listener, the sounds of such sultans of swmg as Burt Bacharach, John Barry, Jimmy Webb and Supergrass on organ, bongos and maracas. Like a Cradle Of Filth album, it all s0unds the same, so to highlight the Seven’s versions of ’White Horses’ and ’Misty’ is probably pomtless Hey, y0u moustachio'd muthas »- play ’Holiday In Cambodia’ for me. (FS)


Pearl Jam

Live On Two Legs (Epic) a a a

As one of the most heavily bootlegged bands of all time, it’s no surprise that with five albums under their belt Pearl Jam should decide that the time is right to go with the live album option.

, They don’t believe in hanging around;

with little in the way of forewarning and barely nine months after releasing their fifth studio offering Yield, they return just in time for the lucrative Christmas market with this live recording from this summer’s sold-out US tour. Moodwise, the giant shadow of kindred spirit and one time

3 collaborator Neil Young hangs over this 3 exercise in grit and gutsiness to say ; nothing of an impromptu partial cover

of the aforementioned Godfather of Grunge's ’Rockin' In The Free World’

i halfway through ’Daughter’ and the

full-on trudge through the show- closing’ 'Fucking Up’. (LT)

The Offspring

Americana (Columbia) ‘25:

Raised on the perennial trailer-trash diet of TV dinners, low SAT scores and heavy metal scrag ends, dimbulbs The Offspring never did have much to say. Even at their chart-prodding peak (94’s ’Come Out And Play’) their entire rai'son d’etre, it seemed, was to cater for that gonzoid sub-species who decreed that anything other than a three minute explosion of acne-scarred bozo-osny was akin to puppy-. squeezing Satanism Americana then, with its root-beer chants and chump- rock shoutalongs IS a true groundhog day of an album. ’Pretty Fly’ and ’Walla Walla' could both have been wrenched from their debut, ’Have You Ever' is a Rednex-in-a-barrel monstrosity, while ’Feelings' beats its chest and howls, entirely inappropriately, at an Iron Maiden-shaped moon. The Offspring haven’t changed but, merCifully, we have. Do not, under any circumstances, buy this record. (SD)

Despite looking sweet as pie Velocette can execute flawlesst

52 THE “ST 19 Nov—3 Dec 1998

Magoo Vote The Pacifist Ticket Today (Chemikal Underground) a

Don’t be put off by the cerebral soundbite. Behind the wordy title and songs called things like ’lmplicate The Targets’ and ’SWiss Border Escape’, there’s a primal rock ’n’ roll band lurking. And there can’t be many of them in Norwich. Magoo are a psychedelic bunch, offering a true update on wacky racers like The 13th Floor Elevators and The Electric Prunes rather than adopting borrowed robes like Kula Shaker. The audacious swagger of primetime Bovvie and the muffled road works of your average My Bloody Valentine offering have also, methinks, informed this bright- eyed and bushy-tailed emission from pop’s left—field, which marks Chemikal Underground’s most invigorating release to date. (FS)

Motor Life Co (birdstyle) (Mei Mei) *

Like Magoo, Glasgow's Motor Life Co like their abstruse titles -- 'lvliguel The Dinted’, anyone7 - but are similarly inventive. This mini-album is a gutsy homegrown reading of US underground sounds which teases With staccato rhythms and gciirky vocal phrasing before unleashing the climactic energy rush Think DC bands like Shudder To Think for contemporary reference points. Even though none of the six tracks take the direct route to sonic gratification, (birdsty/e) avoids being Wilfully obscure or arty farty, Except maybe those brackets. Motor Life Co have been contenders for long enough Any more albums like these and they could almost give the maligned term ’indie' a good name. They certainly deserve to take their place alongside Mogwai and Urusei Yatsura in the ranks of Glasgow’s favourite nOiseniks (FS)


Bellatrix (Global Warming Records) tar ‘s‘k

The latest Icelandic band to find a market in the UK, Bellatrix are an all- girl quintet from Keflavik who, on the strength of this debut, should avoid all the piXie-ice-inaideii cliches Although hard to pin down, their eclectic Sound is not the quirky bag of tricks you'll hear from their more dance-orientated



Offspring: rancid

countrymen. Bellatrix cover several bases but they all sound comfortingly familiar, from indie pop to full-throttle storrners. Singer Eliza boasts lungs like bellows though there’s none of the vocal gymnastics that might come with her background in opera. Her strident delivery and the occasional demonic Violin break bring back memories of a

number of dramatic pseudo-goth

i outfits from the 808 that it was okay to admit you ODJOY(?d. (FS) Velocette

Fourfold Remedy (Wiiija) was: a: a

Saint Etienne were the first of the 905 breed to continue the noble trend of

the swooning 60s girl group sound. f The Cardigans were next to take the

baton and Hooverphonic and Glasgow’s Adventures In Stereo have lined up for their part in the race to

; produce the perfect Phil Spector

1 pastiche. lorning this distinguished company are Velocette who have

concocted an album which could prowde music for all moods and

situations in some swmging 605 movie. Fourfo/d Remedy is the theme tune to White Horses complete with pure songbird vocals and remixed for the funky nightclub acid trip scene. There’s a lot of this stuff about but when it is executed as flawlessly as this, who’s complaining? (FS)

Jad Fair and Yo La Tengo

Strange But True (Matador)

Both lad Fair and Yo La Tengo have been responsible for some brilliant records in the past, but Strange But True isn’t a high-water mark for either of them Even on paper it doesn’t sound too promising: 22 short tracks, all written by Jad’s brother David, with

: titles that read like Week/y Wor/d News

headlines, e g ’Dedicated Thespian Has Teeth Pulled To Play Newborn Baby

3 in High School Play' Almost ineVItably,

it comes across like a project its

; participants have stuck with even after it started to get boring, and this

. human menagerie has pretty much

- worn out its welcome by the end. (AM)

Bill Wells Vs Future

Pilot AKA Bill Wells Vs Future Pilot AKA

i (Domino) sis;

Bill Wells, respected Falkirk Jazz

. arranger, meet Future Pilot AKA, aka