album reviews

POP Kings Of Convenience

Quiet Is The New Loud (Source)


There seems a hell of a lot of gently strumming niceness around these days (see Badly Drawn Boy et al), but Norwegian duo Kings Of Convenience do the thoughtful acoustic tunesmithery thing better than most. Ouiet Is The New Loud (great title, by the way) showcases the pair’s not inconsiderable songwriting talents, and there's a certain captivating charm

about their simple approach and

honest ponderings. Like Belle & Sebastian Without the self-important bookish knowmgness, or Nick Drake but not twattish, Kings Of Convenience are a straightforward and gentle beast, but none the worse for

that. Oh, and of course they're Scandinavran, giVing them Instant

ubercool status in the chin-stroking

? broadsheets. Sigh. . (Doug Johnstone)

j The Frank and Walters

Glass (Setanta) tar

This album is the fourth offering from this veteran trio from Cork and the lead single from it Underground,

T sounds of all things like Depeche

Mode. Despite their chirpy indie pop

origins Glass is strewn With other

5 peculiar 805 influences, including hints

of Ultravox and a touch of Nick Cave

: on tracks such as ’Sinking' and

f ’Looking For America'. The occaSional 3 dancier track is chucked in for good measure but there is certainly nothing 3 new or anything that really makes you i want to dig out your old frilly shirt.

(Jane Hamilton)

? Lowgold ; Just Backward Of Square (Nude)


3 Don’t be put off by the fact that the music press are already declaring

Lowgold as this year's Coldplay/TraVis

' etc, cos this debut album from the four scruffy English tykes shows subtlety well beyond the capabilities of either

of those chart-straddling dullards. Just Backward Of Square is a gorgeous, delicate work of impressive stature, at

' times claustrophobic and : heartbreaking, at other times

touchineg uplifting. Warmly fuzzy

guitars and wonderfully understated

vocals give the album the feel of early Teenage Fanclub, while a world-weary


T; I _ . . . t 3%;

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44 THE LIST 18 Jan—l Feb 2001

bittersweet attitude has much in common With the likes of American alternative gods Buffalo Tom and HUsker Du. A great debut then, let's just hope they can bqu on it in the future. (Doug lohnstone)


The Stranglers

The Stranglers Live (spv 1r t)

This live double CD, recorded throughout Europe last year, is the first release on their new German label spv. A studio album is promised in 2001, but this is a trip down memory lane. The old punksters have been getting a bit of recognition recently, on the soundtracks of British gangster films Snatch and Sexy Beast, but simply put, the old songs ('Get A Grip’, ’Straighten Out', 'Hanging Around’) remind you how great The Stranglers once were, While the newer ones remind you how great The Stranglers once were. That vocalist Paul Roberts merely impersonates predecessor Hugh Cornwall, is indicative of The Stranglers’ inability to move on. Do better: buy 1979’s X-Cert (Live).

(Miles Fielder)


Rock ’n' Roll (Fuzzbox) at i: a: t

. With song titles like ’Baby You Fuck Me

Up' and ’Christ's Harmonica'

Sludgefeast were unlikely to be

mistaken as the heirs to the Belle & Sebastian crown of feyness. More grimy and lo-fi than a colostomy bag full of Cradle Of Filth CDs, this is the twisted, malnourished offspring of the Stooges, Black Sabbath and Jon

j Spencer that resides in a grungy biscuit

tin, drinking Special Brew, pretending it’s Jack Daniels and churning out fearsome riffs that never outstay their welcome - the longest track clocking in at under two minutes ~ the shortest just thirteen seconds.

In the closing track ’My God We Got Some Rockin” they declare “I wanna rock like a Judas Priest, I wanna rock

like a Sludgefeast’. Nuff Said.

(Mark Robertson) Amon Dqu II

The Best Of 1969—1999 (Mystic) it t *

Amon DUUI II were originally a splinter group away from Amon DUUI following an ideological disagreement but they soon became better known than their parent group. Basically a German version of Hawkwind With whom it shares a certain cod sci-fl spirituality and a love of weird spacey noises. This is a pretty fun anthology with the

.l ' ' i L - {K

Lowgold get a glowing report

record reviews MUSIC

Orc estra

; The Path (nva) * t t

: Singing Bowl CD is instrumental

l L.

a later tune ’All The Year Round’

. opener ’Phallus Dei’ highlights what writer Nick Hamlyn calls their ability to

worried half to death for minutes at a i

' Nutrajet (Twenty Stone Blatt) * *

i the first 36 seconds. Unfortunately ; once Nutrajet stop making a nuclear

sneering misanthropic fuck-you

and Sex Pistols riffs. Songs like album

sound like Zodiac Mindwarp but

this a pretty tiresome record.

can be no bad thing for this bunch of Washington-based rockers. This is their debut album on the label and you can


The Path (nva) * t 1: *

Ani Choying Drolma

Whatever you thought of last summer's performance art piece that linked poetry, Tibetan spirituality and rambling in the Scottish countryside together, here is the soundtrack of your endurance and this double CD set is actually rather good. There is no tricksy Phillip Glass showiness here - it is just simply recorded Eastern roots music at its most angelic. The

and builds up from simple

percussion and tabla playing to a rhythmic meditative beat that is so simple it is positively enchanting. This CD should be free on the NHS to poor harrassed young mothers who need some headspace from their repellent children and their useless partners.

Ani Choying Drolma sings her soaring vocals over some steady rhythms with a remarkable range and emotion. It is perhaps a little more difficult to get excited by this one in a market that sees a new Nusrat Fhat Ali Khan album posthumously released every week and crystallised hippies giving away free recordings of the Dalai Llama Singers with every piece of cleansing tarmac. Despite this, these are simple delights but delights none the less. (Paul Dale)

awesome ’Archangel Thunderbird’ and Rigby‘, which should just be left alone : unlike the rest of this mighty fine

record. (lane Hamilton)


A Future Pilot AKA

Tiny Waves, Mighty Sea (Geographic)


Despite haVing served time With the

Soupdragons and the BMX Bandits,

Sushil K Dade has shaken off the indie

shackles and very much gone his own

* way. Future Pilot have produced a number of strange and compelling

: collaborations in recent years With the likes of Kim Fowley and Alan Vega.

And this new long player is a begUiling

collection of minimalist instrumental beauty and jazzy takes on traditional

Indian songs. ’Witchi Tai To’ for

i example is a mantra of psychedelic

. properties, floatation tank sounds for the emotionally weary, While only the

Fanclub-esque splendour of ’Beat Of A

Drum' hints at Dade's past.

(Rodger Evans)

f Pan Sonic . Aaltopiiri (Mute) ****

Eno! Eno! We love Eno! Nothing

wrong With that. This great slice of retro ambient electronica deserves a

place on your shelf next to Apollo and

Music For Airports. Aaltopiiri is a

journey of filtered fucked up sounds

that starts With the serene and ends at

the nightmarish. Do not be kidded into

Q gomg to sleep listening to this because

you will piss the bed. The best piece of

ambient minimalism in a long time.

j Take valium, read Jeff Noon and listen

to this. (Mark Robertson)

reminding us of the pre-Goth delights this underated band had to offer. The construct ’with single chords being

time’. (Paul Dale)


This record sounds bloody brilliant for

holocaust racket and start playing songs it all turns a bit, well, shit really. This punky glammy two-piece from Florida paint themselves as full on

attituders, when really they’re just a couple of daft-haired glam boys With a sack of second-hand New York Dolls

opener ’Alternative Nation’ and the incredibly irritating ’Celebrity Fist’

without the joke, and the band’s tedious posturing thr0ughout makes

(Doug Johnstone)


Two Thousand Years Of Human Error (Posthuman) * t *

Having just been signed to Marilyn Manson's new record label Posthuman

hear the Manson influences throughout, nowhere more so than on

g ’Break You Down' when the man ; himself lends his vocal skills (so it is hardly surprising that this track starts

Continued over page

' with ’Got a gun in my hand . . .). There § *****STAR

, is across of rock styles with hints of _ “H” Very God

: their goth roots and a strong industrial ,0“, Won 3 Shot

; vibe, although this doesn’t quite cut Hr Below average d i the mustard on tracks like ’Eleanor * You V"- bee“ warm

Soundtrack to a spectacle from nva i


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