record reviews


ROCK Shed Seven

Going For Gold . . .The Best Of (Polydor) as:

While some bands strive for the stars, Shed Seven were always content to sWing from the crossbar of mediocrity. Yet this sense of everybloke contentment has seen them survive where others have faltered. And, six years after their inception, little has changed on Planet Shed. New single 'Disco Down’ continues in the same earthin predictable vein as 'Getting Better’ and 'On Standby'. And, While there's a certain candid charm to such small-town oldies as ’Speakeasy' and the happy-clap-along of ’Bully Boy', the sheer lack of scope rapidly palls. Shed Seven will have to settle for bronze. (SD)


Eph (Go! Beat) 29-: -==::-

In another age the three young kids from Fridge would've spent every evening at their mum’s glueing together their SCi-fi Zine and plotting Dungeons & Dragons scenarios However, as the millennium approaches those geeks not spending an inordinate am0unt of time in cyber-space are busy With their very own post-rock unit. Fridge display all the classic dysfunctional Signs - instrumentals With titles in some made-up language, sub-Pink Floyd imagery and no real attempt to convey any genuine empathy With the listener. Instead they make records for other record-makers to marvel at, a closed circle, infinitely

~ feeding back on itself. (DK)

Shannon Wright Flight Safety (Ouarterstick Records)

"‘35 ‘21:?

As the public's thirst for tragic, country folk peddled by the likes of Elliot Smith and Will Oldham remains unabated, US songwriter Shannon Wright brings her simple but effective canon of folky wanderings to the table Marching band snares and off-kilter acoustic guitar melodies complement Wright's high, breathy vocals, as do occasional experiments With a Wurlitzer organ. The more introspective moments of PI Harvey's earlier work and The Breeders at their most calm are the reference pOints, and there is a stark and honest quality to these recordings that gives them a tragic Charm and unashamedly beautiful edge. (MR)


Human Traffic Soundtrack

Various artists (ffrr) xii- ri- 2.-

Pete Tong has compiled this soundtrack to the hotly anticipated clubbing film, managing to please JUSI about everyone in the process. He nods to the old skool with Orbital’s ’Belfast' and Public Enemy’s ’You're Gonna Get Yours', while high-living the supersonic status of Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim and Armand Van Helden. Prediction: 'It Ain’t Going To Be Me’ by CJ. Bolland will soon be seen on a chart near you. In a Tarantino-style, there are dialogue samples scattered throughout to remind you 'to get more spaced out than Neil Armstrong ever did’. This is the album to do it by. (SB)

Spring Heel Jack

Treader (Tugboat) are e a

Moving forcefully away from their trademark drum & bass, electronica terrorists Spring Heel Jack's new one is brutal and unrelenting right from the off. This ain't no chill out album, but it isn't really a club album either. The duo sit well in their position within the avant garde, Without getting bogged down in the self-indulgent noodling that many ’cutting edge’ bands suffer from. Nods towards the dancefloor are still apparent, with hefty swedges of attacking breaks and beats, but this is kept very much in the backgr0und, a solid backbone to radical composition. (RW)

Bogdan Raczynski Samurai Ivlath Beats (Rephlex) More sonic strangeness from Richard ’Aphex Twin’ Iames' label With hyper- speed tumbling breaks, arse-quake bass and a whole host of bizarre nOises from under the bed. Disregarding the helium-high vocal lines, this is occasionally painfully similar to the work of Warp Record’s resident nutter Squarepusher, except not dune as

good. The overall experience is not

wholly unpleasant, but makes you feel as if you’re trapped in some weird Japanese cartoon where huge robot babies battle to the death against giant mechanical grasshoppers, which was

probably the desired effect anyway. ' (MR)


Mr McFall's Chamber Like The Milk (DG M) -:='-: ~42- -:ir -.<=: Adept at adapting anything from EIVis Costello and Robert Burns to classical instrumentation, McFall's Chamber uses expertise drawn from Scottish Chamber to Pengum Cafe Orchestras,

Superstar Dis, here we 90: Chemical Brothers

record reviews MUSIC

ROCK Gay Dad

Leisure Noise (London)

Pater merchants: Gay: Dad

Depending on your position on the Gay Dad question (and youwiii‘h'aVe a position if you've paid the slightest bit of attention to the Shameless-hype surrounding this band's brief career to date), you have two options onihow to react to this review. You can breathe a sigh of relief or you can takejrbur vitriol elsewhere, because Gay Dad's debut opus is - . . not bad.

obeying the first rule of unsolicited demo tapes, Gay Dad begin with their strongest track 'Dimstar’. a song so meiodically sublime you could-easily mistake it for a My Bloody Vaientine cover version. With a raft of songsiike it and the boishy stomp of first single '10 Earth With Love', Gay Dadireaiiy could be contenders, but only if they stop associating themselves with ' mediocre entities like 'Mystic’, a song so bland it's been forgotten béfbre

the fade~out trails off.

For a group who seem so intent on being iN YER FACE and causing a REACTlON, Gay Dad are actuain much better on the mellow songs. However, they also display enough pop punk sneering spunk to get their name scrawled on a few school bags. Now - bring on the next next big thing/lambs to the slaughter. (Fiona Shepherd)

plus Jazz and funk, to create a repertoue With something for everyone If a couple of tracks sOund dirge-Iike, others more than make up for therrr Notably, there's a short and very, very sweet take on 'Little Wing’, heart-breakingiy soulful in its tenderness, and an ii’i-yer-face ten- minute version of Pink Floyd’s 'Interstellar Overdrive’ The fact that most tracks were wrapped in one take, gives an immediacy to even the most bizarre aspects of this collection (GS)

The Third Eye

Foundation In Bristol With A Pistol (Domino)

As a paean to the ritual death and disembowelment of coffee table trip hop and the incessant style-mag stereotyping f Bristol, 'Iii Bristol With A Pistol' is a slow-padding and eerie

Cultural tourists right the fuck Out of mainman Matt Elliot's neighbourhood. Remixed from last year's You Guys Kill Me LP, this version pushes the psychotic undertow even further to the front aDK)

Chemical Brothers

Hey Boy, Hey Girl (Virgin) 2::

Stadiuiii pleasing horse-feed from the Chemical Brothms who, on this eVidence, obviously still hold to the belief that Donna Summer’s ’I Feel Lcive' is some kind of sonic pinnacle. Comes complete With 'isn't-it-fun-to- be-yoiing' type samples a la Fatboy Slim/Lo-Fidelity All Stars that CONJUTQ up queasy images of kids leaping around in colourful clothes IDK)

international Airport Strident Hi-Fi (All City) 2:2 25-:

After a run of storming, transcendent shows in Glasgow, the first Vinyl document of the massive group- minded pulse of International Airport has been eagerly awaited. Whether breathing tWilight shapes through Ennio Morricone’s 'Una Stanza Vuota’ or creeping mush-mouthed beneath the primitive basement clang of the title track, their lugubrious gold sounds are truly affecting. (DK)


Out On The Edge Of Time (Boa) Fantastic fem-fronted meditative stoner-folk from Glaswegians Electroscope, all executed with a real higher-minded/zoned aesthetic that should appeal to fans of Vintage, fluffy UK psych A timeless aura hangs heavy throughout as eerily dislocated vocals rise and shift through sheets of flute

: and spookily plucked acoustics. (DK) Troian horse that should scare any stray ;



Darlings of electro-baldies everywhere, Autechre have still some way to go towards the genuinely human and emotionally resonant way that the Germans have harnessed electronics.

Compared to To Rococo Rot or Pole,

there‘s an airy chill to the majority of

Autechre's output that can leave it

SOunding pretty unengaging. 'EP7’, however, is their best shot yet With some inVigorating forays into deep stuttering psychedelic space. (DK)


Simone Baird, David Keenan, Mark Robertson, Fiona Shepherd, Gabe Stewart, Rory Weller

27 May-l0 Jun 1999 THE UST41