record reviews

The Black Crowes By Your Side (Columbia) at "k at *-

Atlanta’s finest fashion disasters move record label and recruit a new bassist for their fifth long-player which gets back to roots they never knew they had. These are the sounds of a warm, summer Saturday night, in a field, d0ing a bike rally, mildly inebriated and a little bit caned. The main band has just taken to the stage, belting out feel-good, boogie-tinged blues to rouse us from our comas. Undoubtedly the most traditional, straightforward Crowes outing to date, By Your Side is a slickly-executed collection rooted in the Rock of Ages. OK, if we’re being totally honest, it's a bit turgid in places, and it doesn't claim to be unique, but it’s real and that’s a novelty these days. (SM)

Blondie No Exit (Beyond) a a a

The danger for a band like Blondie releasing a comeback album is that they risk sullying our memory of their greatness. Thankfully, while this doesn't scale the heights of Parallel Lines (and what else in pop histOry does?), it's far from the fiasco fans might’ve feared, and even manages to banish the ghastly spectre of that 'Atomic’ remix. It's an album which, coupled wrth the storming live sets from last year, has made the band credible fifty something new wave punks. The songs all sound like earlier hits: ’Maria' is clearly a blood relative of 'Sunday Girl', and ska-tastic opener 'Screaming Skin' is a rude boy romp through territOry mapped out by 'The Tide Is High'. Only the misgmded collaboration With Coolio on the title track fails in its attempt to echo ’Rapture'. While that song was one of the most significant mu5ical and cross cultural events of the past 30 years, the ’99 vintage sounds chronically out of touch wilfully eccentric rather than innovative. (RF)

42 THE IJST 4—18 Feb 1999


The Sebadoh (Domino) at it it ir

Since leaving Dinosaur Jr in 1989, Lou Barlow has released album upon album of often brilliant indie rock all of which have failed to botner the charts. The Sebadoh is being hailed as the commericial beakthrough, but, while certainly their most coherent and straightforward work to date, it still falls just short of classic status. Shaped by the more muscular writing of Jason Lowenstein, The Sebadoh rocks the forest good style and in 'Love Is Stronger' they have a song to treasure with their best work. But too often it's a case of ’never mind the tunes, hear the amps' a clear case of power over content. (PR)

The Creatures

Anima Animus (Sioux Records); * it Eighteen years after The Creatures’ first release, the EP Wild Thing (with shower scene sleeve), Siouxsie and Budgie release this, their third album together. Although featuring some well produced loops, driving rhythms and tricky percussion, it doesn't really break any new ground. This impression is no doubt added to by Siouxsie’s distinctive vocal, and it is the few tracks that feature an altered sound that work best, as on the Beth Gibbons inspired 'Don’t Go To Sleep Without Me'. Otherwise the only highlights are some fine marimbas, the duo still seemingly haunted by the banshees from their past. See Frontlines. (FW)


The Third Meeting At The Third Counter (K Records) ix it xx

Creating a sound that echoes such golden oldies as The Stranglers, Gang Of Four and Magazine, Satisfact appear intent on taking the last new wave of new wave into the next millennium. Despite SUCh blasts from the past, frontman Matt Steinke and co. succeed, mostly, in maintaining a certain futuristic ambience. Carried along by tight rhythms, eerie synthesizers, and the occasional cello and Violin, Steinke's urgent, Mark E, Smith style vocals add to a general

Blondie: her tide is still high

feeling of unease. ’Locate' and ’Intermission' are the stand out tracks, and although total satisfaction isn't quite reached, they come close. (FW)

Dream City Film Club

In The Cold Light of Morning (Beggars Banquet) it it

Time was, a youthful pop troupe would rather chew on a tramp’s truss than display any musical eclectism. Of course, these days it’s genre-juggling that rules OK, with Dream City’ the latest gamblers to grab the lucky-bag politick. It almost works too, With 'The Curse’ grasping the bearded ennui of Arab Strap and ’Steal Away' coming on like a punch-drunk Johnny Cash at a vicarage fete. Elsewhere however, it’s a messy business indeed, as ’Billy Chic’ makes a sorry-assed vault for Bowie’s bloomers and ’Nerveshot’ sloppily chows down with a pall-bearing Placebo. As purveyors of pinball eclectisism, these shape-shifters show only sporadic wizardry. (SD) Liminal

aa (God Bless Records) a: x *

His ambition to be the daddy of Glasgow’s musical underbelly knows no bounds. Brendan O'Hare CV to date includes Fanclub/Mogwai/Telstar Ponies and now Macrocosmica and 'mystic’ offshoot Fiend has succeeded in finding another set of collaborators with whom he hasn’t already made beautiful music. The result is an eclectic album of self-styled 'electronic future rock’. Techno, (guitar) hardcore, Krautrock, retro futurism, tribal percussion and hypnotic drone rock all put in an appearance. On 'Intercoastal Brainskin', Fugazi offer The Chemical Brothers outside for a SCrap. On ’9 For 6’, Joy DiVision pay a Visit to the BBC StereOphonic Workshop. O'Hare surveys his creation and lo, it was interesting but hardly orgasmic. (FS)

Jimi Hendrix

Band Of Gypsys Live At The Fillmore East (MCA) air it * at

The short-lived Band Of Gypsys recorded these previously unreleased tracks at four New Year shows at the Fillmore East in 1970. As Jimi's only American band, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox give good rhythm for this rocky, jazzy, soulful album. 'Auld Lang Syne' features trademark feedback, with snatches of ’Little Drummer Boy’ in 'Stone Free’. An astonishingly chilling 'Machine Gun' (for all the soldiers fighting in Vietnam) includes 'The Last Post’. lt’ll blow you away. Purists will argue for a complete box set a la John Coltrane’s Live At The Village Vanguard, but until that comes along this Will do nicely. (MS)

PUNK Goober Patrol

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being Drunk (Them's Good) it: '1: is

'In the world of eternal return, the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make,’ said Milan Kundera in The Unbearable Lightness Of Being. 'The thousandth beer has made it quite clear I'm doing something wrong,’ counter Norfolk punks Goober Patrol in an album of a similar name. With a shouty vocal

attack personally endorsed by Strepsils and a series of power riffs that make Hurricane Mitch seem like a summer breeze, the Goobers gallop through their fifth album. There's a whiff of early Stiff Little Fingers in the air: the songs don’t have the same focus of anger, but they’re infinitely more credible than anything Jake Burns is churning out today. Sometimes it's better to party like it's 1979. (AM)

3 Colours Red

Revolt (Creation) it: «x w sir

Two years after debut album Pure, 3CR push their punk~pop sound further out on either side to the combative yells of ’Paralyse' or the string-assisted melodies of current single 'Beautiful Day’ while also delivering more of those lean, filleted slabs of noise that make them one of the UK’s best live acts. It’s easy to forget that, at the eye of a tornado of dual guitar attacks and soaring-scouring harmonies, Pete Vuckovic's introspective lyrics describe a tense, almost paranoic relationship between the singer and the outside world. The crowds go into mosh frenzy, but this party has a darker edge. (AMor)


Big Daddy Kane

Veteranz Day (Blakjam) 3% air air air

The seventh album from this founding father and ten-year veteran of hip hop finds King Asiatic No-one Exceeds, on the whole, on an astonishing return to form. Aside from the disappointing 'Uncut, Pure’; a charging monotone rhyme, devoid of his trademark versatility, he does kick out a catholic opus, with touches of R & B and looser rhythms. For evidence tag up Girl Talk, then the razor sharp sooal commentary hits us Via 'Terra N Ya Era' and 'Da Good Tymz', stopping off with dreamily laid-back, loosely looped, horizontally inclined beats on ’Earth, Wind And Fire' and 'La La Land’. All in, theze beatz lZ on. (CR)

JAZZ Dave Douglas

Charms of the Night Sky (Winter & Winter) a 7* * fir

Trumpeter Dave Douglas is best known in these parts for his role in John Zorn’s Masada, but his own musrc marks him out as one of the major creative talents on the world jazz stage. Like DaVid Murray, he pops up on a variety of import-only labels, but this debut for the successor to Stefan Winter’s JMT label should be more readily available. it features Douglas in an unconventional quartet with Guy Klucevsek on accordion, Mark Feldman on Violin, and Masada bassist Greg Cohen. Their unusual sonorities and textural interplay creates an intimate, atmospheric soundscape with a distinct European feel and a characteristically probing, explorat0ry edge. (KM)

Ken Hyder

ln The Stone (Impetus Records) t t at It’s Scottish folk, Jim, but not as we know it. Dundee-born drummer Ken Hyder is an old hand at interweavmg folk and free improwsation, and this disc also reflects his more recent fascination with Tuvan throat Singing. He is heard in duos With piper Dave