record reviews

ROCK/ POP Lightning Seeds Tilt (Epic) ** Only the most curmudgeonly of indie huffmeisters could deny that Ian Broudie at least knows the front end from the arse end of a pop chorus. Sadly though, on this, his fourth album, Mr Broudie continues his practice of soaking every inch of every song in so much sterile treacle it really is a hardship trying to wade through. In fact, the only interesting thing about this record is its terrible flirtation with what I believe the kids are calling ’dance’ musrc. It’s as if Broudie's seen all them young kiddies haying it large down the discotheque and thought ’Ooh, that looks like fun, I’ll try some of that.’ Unfortunately, like your dad, he's so far wide of the mark it’s laughable. This is most evident on the ridiculous ’Crowd Pleaser’ and current single ’Life’s Too Short’. Expect to hear both on a car advert near you soon. (DJ)


Alexanders Dark Band (Minker) **

Post-rock what’s that all about then? Moody soundscapes, lots of whooshy

noises and no singing, that’s what.

. When done well (see Mogwai) it can

' be stunningly effective, but when done . badly (see most other practitioners) it can be pretty dire. On this album

. Gasgiant show some invention, but

- mainly get bogged down in followmg

the established blueprint.

Alexanders Dark Band starts off pretty I encouragingly. ’Tracerlaced' pushes all

- the right post-rock buttons, ’Don’t

I Wake Me’ dips its toe into a dreamy

- vocal pool, and ’Bagel’ even manages

Z to sound a little bit like The Skids, if they’d been fed ketamine and dumped f in the woods. After this promising

I start, however, it all goes a bit awry,

I descending into stodgy, ponderous

' sub-Pink Floyd at times. In amongst the J mire, ’Waiting’ stands out as half-

~ decent, but towards the end it's time

j to bail out as squeaky industrial n0ises replace any semblance of songs. (DJ)

48 THE UST l8 Nov-2 Dec 1999

Our Lady Peace

Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch (Epic) ink

Canada has given us many wonderful, wonderful things. Mike Myers South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The Tragically Hip However, were we to add Our Lady Peace to the list, it would have to be somewhere between Sealion Dion and The Dumb Crash Testes. This is their third album of sinewy angst, and it’s fairly foot- dragging stuff, though the shrill 'Annie’ suggests OLP know their way round a good tune. So why do they so covet chest-thumping rock cliches the rest of the time? Call them the Longpigs with steroid bitch tits, or Placeboys trying to be Bush-sucker men. Good album title, though. (6V)

Mariah Carey Rainbow (Columbia) *

Mariah may splay her shiny thighs and cartoon bosoms, but even clad in her undies and buffed to a high gloss, she’s more cheerleader than sex symbol. She’s Playboy-perfect, and her kind of sex is all-American and airbrushed. So she’s got seven producers on hand to polish her moans, groans and keening n0ises, remove any trace of roughness and create a sound thicker, smoother and fattier than a MacDonald’s milkshake Snatches of coolness courtesy of some superstar mates notably Missy Elliot and Da Brat on the foulmouthed 'Heartbreaker’ remix —- only show up the infuriating dullness of her own work. The songs are so repetitive, her delivery so lullaby—lilting and feeling- free, that this might have been conceived as a treatment for insomniacs, if it wasn't so irritating. ’In A Perfect World Human Beings Would Co-EXist Harmoniously, Like A Rainbow’, say the sleeve notes No, Mariah. In a perfect world you would have been born Without lungs (HM)

Culture Club

Don't Mind If I Do (Virgin) in:

it’s bizarre that Boy George and wee Jon Moss can be in a room together, given all the nasty things they’ve said about one another. And there endeth the main point of interest about this

Bygones: Culture Club


Pete Tong, Fatboy Slim, Paul Oakenfold Essential Millennium (ffrr) “H...

Decks appeal: Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold and Fatboy Slim

These days, it seems that any old excuse will do to release a dance compilation album. The one that’s getting a jolly good whipping at the moment is 'l‘m playing at such-and-such an exotic location for the Millennium.’ While our immediate reaction is to shout loudly ‘stop bloody showing off, you overpaid. undertalented spinner of plastic'. we admit that a couple of the compilations are actually pretty good. The one that stands out from the rest is Essential Millennium and, although it is pretty much a ' big neon sign from Cream proclaiming 'look who's coming to our party this New Year‘s Eve', it is also a damn fine compilation.

Pete Tong mixes up some of the most popular house tracks of the past few years - Basement Jaxx‘s ‘Rendez-Vu' and Armand Van Helden's ‘You Don't Know Me‘ all sit with more recent tracks like Junior Cartier‘s outstanding 'Women Beat Their Men‘. Party boy Fatboy Slim pulls together a foot stompin‘ mix featuring The Chemical's ’The Private Psychedelic Reel', Size Nine’s ‘I'm Ready' and Underworld's ‘Born Slippy'; and Paul Oakenfold picks his fave bits of mainstreamish trance, including Lovechild's ‘Gloria‘, Olive‘s ‘You're Not Alone’ and The Source's ‘Fly Away'. All in all, the ideal compilation for your stereo this season. (Simone Baird)

l offspring of his fellow 80$ icons 5 George Michael and Alison Moyet, and

3 glassy surface. But there’s little 5 alteration to the 805 blueprint, and the

sleekness of ’Black Comedy' jUSI

; tinny drums, Wine bar saxes, flamenco

sharing a dingy bC‘dfill on Abbe; Road.

At no pOInt do O\'eii:..irs push the

originality button, and if the; should

set the world on fire, ii'ii Le another victory for the formulaic splashes, shimmers and swaggeis of post-txigg,

boyrock That said, tildlfljli, lll:_‘i.'

are sharp enough to ’dltll .:

against your VII” and the. r: ire 1 Winning way with an '.id~:.i,:.:..:.t‘: harmony that, when it peaks, retail,

The la's. (HM)

' The Rosenbergs

. Ameripop (pOiiiOndSOHnds)

. Domg exactly what it says i; t? it“,

Amer/pop proves New \i'ori .

Rosenbergs are ‘.~.'ell-acqi..;ii.twi in

album. Sticky sexual histories asrde, i this is the same gentle, skipalong sad i reggae they always dealt in. it's by no 1 means unpleasant George’s voice has ' souled up over the years, to the point I where he sounds a bit like the ,

LUJFO. torchier numbers like ’Cold Shoulder' and ’Sign Language’ almost break the tentative breakbeatery that ruffles the sounds like a mistake. Everything --

gUitars and synth strings impels you to roll up the sleeves of your suit

; Jacket, slip on some slip-ons and order the unruly adolest eat that . ,i' - a Babycham. (HM) centric pop. All the re.i_:..s.te components are here the u 1': ' g overmars ' PiXIes-ish gurtars, the Eta: i‘ ii-

Highlife (Lightyear) * t it

If you were thirteen and there was a boy in the fourth form you fanCied and you went to see his big brother’s band play to impress him, they’d sound like this. The standout opener ’Nightmare At Noon' is The Beatles wanting to hold your hand, gorgeously melodic and festooned with dramatic Bittersweet Symphony strings. 'Black Wheel’ is Tim Burgess and Paul Weller l

harmonies, the heartfet David: cars ’n’ chicks and staff ‘rntre ,tirx; then, that the foursome siigtiiari, iii to connect on even the :aguest of levels. Y'see, in the scramble to ape their idols (most notably the Violent Femmes), they forgot about the things that really drive pop leaving songs

like the drearier-than-Delaware ’Soaked ln Polyester' and gormiess, Foo Fighters pastiche ’Will U Drive Me'

i l i