Singles round up We invite the music celebrities of today to predict/berate the hits of tomorrow. This issue: Edinburgh Ska/punk loans the Newtown Grunts. Sensitive folks should read no further.
Al ’Same Old Brand New You’ (Columbia) — Faceless boy band tat. Norrie 'Boy bands are a wonderful thing when done properly but Al just have to practise more. That’s what Kirsty Knaggs said about us.‘
Amen ’The Price Of Reality’ (Virgin) - Nu-metal without the stupid masks. Rod: 'That‘s for people who are trying to deny their love of Iron Maiden. You just have to come out, man, it‘s nothing to be ashamed of. Heavy metal should be about Satan.
SINGLE OF THE WEEK: Desalvo ‘Double Square’ (promo) — Local lads dish up some metal mayhem.
R: ‘An absolute gem from the genius behind The Stretchheads.’
N: ‘Richie Dempsey and Desalvo equal genius.’
Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ (ZTT) - Piss-poor rehash of 805 classic.
A: ’That's absolute shite - the most pointless record ever made. It was all right the first time, but there's no point in putting a dance beat under it fifteen years later.'
A Perfect Circle ’The Hollow’ (Virgin) — Post-grunge supergroup with self- indulgent miserable noodlings.
El Hombre Trajeado Saccade (Human Condition) a air at
This, El Hombre’s second album watches them explore the studio as well as showing their mastery of the live domain. Their sound is a mostly instrumental mix of burbling, buzzing electronic see-saws thrown into an expressive post-rock sand pit, while they doff a feathered cap in the direction of America's alt.rock pioneers like Minutemen, firehose and Slint. All that packaged in convenient pop song- sized chunks.
The music has a naive beauty and lush cyclical quality about it but never strays into background music territory. Along with other thoughtful guitarorrists like Laeto, Mogwai and the late, lamented Ganger, they prove Robbie 'evil' Williams wrong in that you don’t have to be singing to be winning. (Mark Robertson)
Sex, Death, Trains And America (West Nile Records) t Anybody in high school reading this
50 THE lIST 2—16 Nov 2000
N: ‘That’s gash.’ A: 'Mince.’
R: 'Songs should have good verses and good choruses - that’s just got loads of guitar solos.’
Savage Garden ’Hold Me’ (Columbia) - Awesome/y poor Australian pop pap. N: (After about 10 seconds) ’That can fuck off.‘
A: 'I could pull a better band out my arse, and the bands up my arse are shite.’
N: ‘Savage Garden should be killed and their skins should be used to make fucking wallets, man.’
Annie Christian ’Saturday Night Sunday Morning’ (Filthy Mouth) - Tasty EP from local robo-goths.
N: ‘I thought that was a bit dull really.’
R: ‘I wanted to like it, but yer man told me that this guy wears a jacket on stage, which is just daft: it’s fucking roasting up there.’
Queen Adreena ‘Jo/ene’ - Psychotic industrial treatment of Dolly Parton classic.
N: ‘This is what policewomen listen to. They go home and slip this on thinking they're a bit radical and listen to it with their policeman husband. Name me one policewoman that's not married to a policeman.‘
R: ’Juliet Bravo.’
I The Newtown Grunts play with the Dropkick Murphys at the 13th Note Club, Glasgow on Sun 5 Nov and release a split single with Ann Beretta on Wkausei Records.
who wants to be in a band but lacks the confidence should take solace from the fact that Catcher have been going for over five years and are still happy to release this appalling selection of indie- trite that The Gyres wouldn’t have considered as B-sides. The Catcher method of writing songs seemingly involves ‘deep‘ elemental lyrics punctuated by a constant repetition of the song title, over a backing of tinny guitars that occasionally break into Guns 'n' Roses-wannabe solos. For six or seven minutes. They have a song called 'End Of Innocence’. Their drummer is called Shug. I wasted 50 minutes of my life. (Jan F Zeschky)
ELECTRONIC Add N 1'0 (X) Add Insult To Injury (Mute) ***
Although things start off promisingly with the Bontempi bounce of ‘Adding N To X‘, these electronic terrorists‘ third album soon descends into disappointing mediocrity. Obvious keyboard refrains are overplayed, those
characteristic burps and bleeps seem thrown in at random, and the overall flat-sounding production dulls the band‘s futuristic sheen. The electronic blizzards of ’MDMH’ and ‘Incinerator No. 1‘ shine through though, before the album is almost saved by ‘The Regent Is Dead’, a monumental ten- minute sprawl of genius. Definitely their most mature album, but Add N To (X) have always seemed more about pushing the immaturity of experimentation to its limit. Maturity here reads as a worrying lack of ideas. (Jan F Zeschky)
1990-1997: Plus 8 Classics (NovaMute) **** Ritchie Hawtin really loves those little
boxes of bleeps created by Roland in the 805, he liked them so much, he started a label, Plus 8 Records, to put out his, and other people's experimental techno gems.
This compilation is a veritable who’s who of techno, with Joey Beltram, Sheffield's own LED and the vastly underrated Kenny Larkin, all making appearances. Highlights include Hawtin‘s own contribution as Fuse and the percussive madness that is ’Spastik’ with him under his most recent moniker, Plastikman. A fantastic introduction to this label’s cerebral but stimulating sound. (Mark Robertson)
Hed Kandi: Back To Love 2 (Phuturetrax) ah i: t *
If you were fortunate to spend most of the late 805 in clubs that by-passed the acid house craze and instead served up a cocktail of progressive dance classics from the likes of Inner City and The Source, then this is for you. This is pure amyl sniffing nostalgia and it will have you mourning those dead braincells and analysing the roots of ever curious mood swings. Among the many classics on this great double CD package are Lil Louis' 'French Kiss’ and King Bee's ‘Back By Dope Demand’ along with mighty familiar cuts from Deee-Lite, Young MC and De La Soul. Magic. (Paul Dale)
Paul Oakenfold - Travelling (Perfecto) * * air
Nick Warren - Global Underground Amsterdam (Global Underground)
* 'A' *
Trade — Past/Present/Future (Beechwood) * *
You might expect him to look fresh after the success of his Big Brother theme (shoehorned into the arse end of this compilation), but Oakey just looks a bit lost, not to mention chronically hungover, on the artwork to his above-average mix of lush trance and house.
Global Underground's name is as ill- fitting as the ‘indie’ label that somehow stayed attached to Oasis. Surely this is the mainstream now, a fact that Nick Warren‘s bankers no doubt appreciate. Warren is a vibrant enough member of this scene, and his minimalist trance has a decent combination of peaks and troughs.
No such joy awaits the listener in Trade's 10th birthday compilation, featuring Tony De Vit, the Sharp Boys
and Gonzalo. Relentless ’Umm-Chu- Umm-Chu' hard house beats can work up a damn fine sweat in the right clubbing environment, but sound bland outside of it, although the Sharp Boys provide a little funked up relief. (James Smart)
Pimp To Eat (Ground Control) *****
Question: What do you get if you put self-styled pimp MCs Ice T and Kool Keith in a studio with three production masterminds and a stack of old analogue equipment? Answer: Nothing short of filth-ridden, hip hop perfection. Rhythmically hard-edged and funky and considerably more varied than most hip hop albums, heavy-duty classic beats are laid next to futuristic, sci-fi elements on tracks like 'Analog Technics'. As for the rhymes, the MCS more than fulfil their pimp potential and although starting subtle, soon Ice T really finds his form with lines like 'Need a bitch to suck my dick and just leave and not say shit'. Bless. (Catherine Bromley)
Carla Bley 4 x 4 (WATT) ****
Despite the whacky all-terrain vehicle cover shot, the real significance of the 4 x 4 reference is that Carla Bley‘s latest band is an octet, featuring four horns - Wolfgang Puschnig on alto sax and flute, Andy Sheppard on tenor, Lew Soloff's steely trumpet, and Gary Valente‘s rasping trombone - and a rhythm section with two keyboards, Bley‘s piano and Larry Goldings, organ, plus Steve Swallow on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums. Bley cuts them loose on expanded versions of two compositions from her trio repertoire and several new works, including a two-part workout on blues changes and the colourful ’Sidewinders In Paradise’ which grew out of a chance meeting of Pacific island bird song and Lee Morgan‘s classic Blue Note groove tune, ‘The Sidewinder‘. (Kenny Mathieson)
BLUES Billy Jenkins with the
<sadtimes.co.uk> (VOTP Records) * t *
Titles like ’Cliff Richard Spoke To Me‘ and 'I Love Your Smell‘ should be enough to confirm that this is not going to be your average twelve-bar workout. if you have already made acquaintance with guitarist Billy Jenkins‘ work, you will know not to expect a standard-issue blues disc, although you will find plenty of tasty blues playing on it just the same. Jenkins has long been the renegade iconoclast of British jazz, but has focused much of his energy on this blues project in recent times. He brings his off-kilter viewpoint, radical social perspective, warped sense of humour and rogue musical sensibility to bear on the venerable genre, and it just about survives the assault. The disc will be sold mainly, but not exclusively on-line at <www.sadtimes.co.uk>.