record reviews


Turn Check My Ears (Infectious) sir 12: +1 41

Yet another quartet of angst types who let then geetars do the sguealing and their vocalist do the wailing. Sure, you could probably throw a distortion pedal across any crowded gig these days and sc ud some tip-tight indie kid With the same lyrical and sonic. approach, but Turn are different (how many times have you heard that claim?) This is mostly due to the vocal prowess of vocalist Ollie Cole, his searing howls on ’Facedown‘ and ’Beretta’ making the hairs on one's neck stand to attention More gentle than most of their guitar-Wielding contemporaries, they show an ear for both smoky torch songs and white noise workouts and Will hopefully be given the chance to shine.

(Mark Robertson)

Saint Etienne

Sound Of Water (Mantra)

Once upon a time, Saint Etienne made perfect pop songs that put a smile on your face ’Nothing Can Stop Us Now’, 'Join Our Club’, ’Who Do You Think You Are’, Winners one and all, But that was back in the days when the rent needed paying and shifting units was high up the list of priorities Financial security has ruined many a career, and if Sound Of Water is anything to go by, the trio won't need oxygen masks during their next hike up the charts Described on the sleeve notes as ‘pure- pop enc hantment and studio-as- instrument sorcery', this smacks instead of self-indulgent experimentation Let's hope they run out of money soon. (Kelly Apter)


United (Source)

If the inspired 80s power-pop of the recent single "Too Young’ from this surprisingly superb French combo excited you then the album Will delight beyond the Wildest of expectations Glorioust retro and eclectic, Phoenix show blatant disregard for the Gallic house propagated by their contemporaries and instead favour diverse musical styles from electro- country to Van Halen guitar roc k-outs

56 THE LIST 8 )2 Jun 2000

to laid-back 70s funky strutting. Vocalist Thomas Mars recalls the sickly sweet tones of Scritti Politti’s Green on the dreamy, ice-creamy sunset ballads ’Honeymoon’ and ’Summer Days’ while ’Party Time’ is straight out of ’Wayne’s World’ With its high- adrenaline rock Vibe. (Catherine Bromley)

Royal Trux

Pound For Pound (Domino) at * tr * The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion were once keepers of the garage punk trash aesthetic, but then Spencer discovered camp and started writing songs about his trousers. No bad thing, but too cerebral for the cause of maXimum rock ’n' roll, the twrn criteria being volume and depraVity. Which is where Royal Trux come in Pound For Pound may be their 73rd LP in the last year (it seems) but it's louder and way cruder than most of the alleged competition put together, invoking the New York Dolls, MCS, Dr John and the Faces. This record has more balls, in fact, than Rod Stewart could play keepy-uppy With. (Rodger Evans)

ELECTRONIC Jolly Mukherjee with the Madras Cinematic

Orchestra Fusebox (Palm Pictures) 1r 7* a at

The man known in India as ’King Jolly’ deserves the title, if his current musical outpouring is anything to go by. One of the key players on the Bollywood film scene, the soundtrack composer has handed over his work to producers State of Bengal, The Underwolves and Kingsuk Biswas These remixers weave a tapestry of beats and breaks around Jolly's lush string arrangements; the deeply filmic music; CONJUFCS up images of landscapes and action sequences, and this is best exploited on the tracks produced by The Underwolves. ’Bhatiyalli' and ’Patdeep’. Layer upon layer of sound creates a rich and decadent aural landscape Three cheers for Fusebox, for opening up the mu5ic of Bollywood to an audience who might preVioust have given it a bodyswerve. (Louisa Pearson)

Freeloaders Northwest Coast (Sunburn) k t *

Manc hip hoppers With a taste for electro-dub-funk-noir soundsc apes,

The ever eloquent Eminem


Bow Down To The Exit Sign (60 Beat) it t r


David Holmes' first straight up studio album

Not a mock film soundtrack, not a real film soundtrack and not a wizz through his vinyl collection, Bow Down To The Exit Sign is David Holmes' first straight up studio album, which sees Jon Spencer, Bobby Gillespie and others guest on the fifteen tracks. Except . . . Exit Sign has also got the filmscape sound effects of Let’s Get Killed, the dialogue outtakes of Out Of Sight and the funky drive of Holmes' Essential Mix.

'Sick City' is the raging track Primal Scream should have opened Exterminator with. On 'Bad Thing' Jon Spencer sounds more fucked up than usual, churning the tune into a stalk 'n' slash horror movie soundtrack, the prior filler track, 'Drexler's Apt. Aftermath, Afternoon', sets the mood. Same goes for. . . Exit Sign’s intro, 'Live From The Peppermint Store' - on which a disembodied redneck voice bangs on about his hungover head feeling like a ‘sparrow’s ass' which sets up very nicely the chunky funk of

'Compared To What'.

Not as inspired as Let’s Get Killed, not as cool as Out Of Sight and not as big party time fun as The Essential Mix, . . . Exit Sign is only left wanting because David Holmes’ other records are so damn fine. (Miles Fielder)

tribal house and an occasional reggae Wiggle, Freeloaders sculpt sounds that aspire to the digital symphonies of Sabres Of Paradise, Leftfield, Underworld and even Basement Jaxx. And they come pretty close too. Mostly instrumental but With the odd sampled chorus, Northwest Coast is an eclectic and intriguing album, if one that could benefit from a little vocal/MC sweetness. ’Rok Automatik’ is a car advert Jingle in waiting, ’Drop The Bass’ delivers its promise and ’ACid Style' might be an aerobics workout With a pneumatic Jane Fonda. Freeloaders, but not party poopers (Rodger Evans)

Bentley Rhythm Ace

For Your Ears Only (Parlophone)

An ironic choice of title from Bentley Rhythm Ace as this album sounds like it was made for their ears only. Unlike their debut album there are no stand- out tracks for the crowds to sway along to, only indulgent mix and match experimentation The 'c ut and paste' samples and ramshackle rhythms create a chaotic sound Whic Ii they no doubt had a great time producing, but results in a somewhat less satisfying experience for the listener There are some nice 60s grooves, but Just When you’re getting into it along comes the sound of spoons and springs. If you’re a dedicated fan give it a listen, otherWIse, avoid (Louisa Pearson)


Production (Naive) ~

The confident bass swagger, crisp synth whip cracks and droning gUitar of 'Disco Science’ are a more than promising start to the Frenchman’s album He has been producing work for Madonna of late but along With other electronic pop practitioners who present themselves guite proudly as both emotionlesss and products of fashion, Mirwais gets lost in his man- machine mystique and goes a bit dull on us. Although, he partly tests the emotional range of the genre With occh moments of arc lily sinister urban alienation, it doesn’t live up to the very hiin expectations created by the opening track (Tim Abrahams)

Giant Robot Crushing You With Style (Clearspot)

Alternative music has a recent history of artists banging on about automatons (Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Cirandacldy), and here come I-inlancl's Giant Robot to get you doing the 'funky andi‘oid’ on the dancefloor this summer Probably Crushing You With Style displays a Beasties-style love of guirkiness, and the same ’melting pot' attitude Drum & bass, hip hop and elec’tro-pop are mashed together, passed through a I'innish filter and out pops an excellent if eccentric album All this is epitomisecl on the entertaining 'llelsinki Rock City, which