record reviews

ROCK/POP Cocteau Twins

Stars And Topsoil: A Collection 19824990 (4A0) * i-r iv i. +

'There slio ildri't be artists, just their ixor'rs,’ is an Orson Welles line quoted by Alan Vi/arner .n the liner notes to this retrospective of the Cocteau's AAD years And it fits Grangeniouth’s finest snugly For they made beautiful, blissed-out sounds that had music l()llfll()‘) havering about sonic cathedrals and fans spellbound, but they really couldn't give a fuck about celebrity and its rat trappings Music was the point and the passion And these rec ordings sound every bit as spooky and irieffable as the first time you heard Peel play them on the Radio One Graveyard Shift Keeping it i’etlielreal (Rodger Evansi

Andy Votel

Styles Of The Unexpected (Twisted Nerve) t i.-

lf Badly Drawn Boy is the reluctant pop face of 'Twisted Nerve, then Andy Votel is the maverick label boss behind the scenes the Phil Spector to Damon Ciough's Ronettes pushing all the right buttons and making rt happen Eerie and cinematic in the same way that Barry Adamson's fictional soundtracks create a disturbing aural narrative, Votel's solo protect encompasses influences from surf rock, psychedelic electronica, hip hop, and post-rock to create a mere 40 minutes of low-key, lo-fi magic Stand- out track ’Return Of The Spooky Driver' epitomises Votel's eclectic flair with melancholic, wistful piano neatly Juxtaposed against fired-up Surf-punk guitar Kooky (Catherine Bromleyi


lvly Pain And Sadness Is More Sad And Painful Than Yours (Fuzzbox) xi ii i a

What an excellent surprise Provrng that the quirky brilliance of Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic MyliCl were not aberrations in the traditionally dull Welsh musical landscape, Mclusky have produced a debut album of crackling energy and dark, caustic humour Trading on Bleach-era Nirvana and PiXies riffs rather than the 60s psychedelia of their fellow valley-dwellers, Mclusky still share that trait, peculiar to certain Welsh bands, of mocking their influences as

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Tl‘ey “6.1" in tne Yea" n the bag 9:.l‘iiteuberaior‘ifi'te‘ be'a’act c)"!i.s'x,i's i'ite’hgence, aggress o" at": complete habity to :a- e things sec easy. deser‘.e a :age and thoro-g'i

apprecaf .ie audience

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Spice Girls

Forever (Virgin)

Conscioiisly making a move towards a funkier, mOre RBB grooi. e, the four remaining members of the Spic e camp nave stamped their individual style on this, their third and possibly final album Emma’s angelic voice floats abo‘. e both Mel C’s coarse, banal whine and Mel B's raw raps As for Posh, unrell, sne lust looks good on the cover Most of the tracks are as fiirnsy and transparent as their toupee tape, gelled together by the usual saccharin-coatecl, soft-centrc‘id, syrupy ballads Be warned Spice syndrome is highly infectious and it may be poppy throwaway twaclclle, but we defy you not to hum along aft ?l a couple of listens i’Maureen EHIS)

Whistler Faith In The Morning (Wiiija)

Remember that kid in your class at school who was really quiet and shy, and never really had any friends, but won the poetry competition every year with compositions of heart-breaking beauty that made yocr look at him in a whole different light? No7 Well anyway, imagine that kid, grown up, and having the good fortune to meet two other people just like him, except one of them’s a girl That's Whistler Haunting melodies, simple lyrics and dreamy vocals, )us‘t the thing for long, cold winter nights And don't be put off by the fact that one third of this tender trio is former E M F_ man Ian Dench iKirsty Knaggsl

Superstar Six More Songs (Camp Fabulous) s

This inventively titled mini album from Glasgow’s finest guitar popsters can be seen as a stopgap between their excellent third album, Phat Dat, and their next long player As such it’s pleasant enOugh listening but hardly an essential purchase The six songs here are pretty much an extension of their previous work Without taking any major leaps forward Singer Joe McAlindon's vOice is still

Ricky Martin, pictured here with stationary bon-bon

50 THE “ST 30 Nov—14 Dec 2000

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Marilyn Manson

Pretentious but with something to say

Holy Wood: In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death (Nothing Records litterscopel

Marilyn Manson, bless him, remains the self-styled son of Satan and supervillain to Daily Mail readers nation-wide. His larger than life persona has even led to him being thought of as the sole reason white American teens kill each other (and themselves). In the wake of the Columbine High School massacre, he walled himself off in his Hollywood mansion for six months but now, after working feverishly for a year, he strikes back.

The album itself sticks two fingers up at the hypocrisy of America and its gun lust which scapegoats rock stars when things go wrong. Such as on ’The Love Song' with its bitter lyrics ’God, government do you love your guns?’ and we all know the answer is ’yes’; according to Charlton Heston anyway. The album is seriously dark and brooding but hey what did you expect?

This is definitely intelligent evil music, with current single ‘Disposable Teens' a shining example of pop goth pomp at its best. It may be as pretentious as hell, with its allusions to God, The Devil etc, but its knowing self-reference has something to say and, more importantly, rocks like a drug- crazed, baby-eating muthafucka. Go on buy it, even if it's just to annoy your

mum. (Henry Northmore)

gorgeously i)l'..'llll‘=l‘.() with riielai‘c l‘oli, ii‘ occasionally verging on the liistrioiiic ~, and the vocal and string a'rangeiiiertts are positively sumptuous, but really only the stirring 'Ambei" shovis off his songwriting talents to iiiaxirnu'ii ef‘ect lDoug lohnstone)

Ricky Martin Sound Loaded (Columbia)

You know the Ricky Martin package White teeth, white shirt, even tan and those hot Latin moves and tunes that f'ri up the clancefloor It's v.ihat he's good at and, more to the point, what he should stick to Sadly, to give his latest album some 'balance' you'll f:nd terrifying

Michael Bolton-esgue ballads spoil:r‘:g the

piguancy of his salsa ltlacloiina doesn t try to warble like Celine, and Ric ky should take heed Slo\.'.ies aszcle, the tv.o stand-Out tracks 'She Bangs' anc: 'Loadecl' sound even better in tler included Spanish versions and the fa/y Cuban feel of ‘Amor' somev.hat redeeins the Ricky T‘~.’Td."illi/Si()‘.'.’ song relationship lLOtlisa Pearsoni

Dukes Of Hang-Gliding

My Cinema (Snowstorm)

Dukes Of Hang—Gliding are Brian Rose and Ben Durling, and they nate the sight of each other, if you believe the press burnph that comes with their debut album lvlarketing bullshit aside, l/ly Cinema is a slightly better than average collection of indie tunes, with the generc guitary str‘uiiiminess and eecly vocals present being strangely sut).'(}rtecl b. their darkly clesoiate lyrical content

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Jamie Oliver's Coox'n': i.',;is c To (rio- By (Columbia)

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The Offspring

Conspiracy 07' One (Co

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