MANIC STREET PREACHERS
Know Your Enemy Ep c, O.
In a recent interview in O Magazine. the ever gobby Nicky Wire claimed that the title of this. the Manics' Slthi album. referred to the band themselves. The'r previous album was so dull. airbrushed. soulless and coffee table friendly that it sold shedloads. won Brit Awards. and the band hated it. Know Your Enemy. then is being billed as a back-to- basics. newly invigorated Manics. hack to kick the arse outta the charts and overthrow the musical hegemony. Alas. it's pish.
But at least it's pish in a more inventive way than before. Gone are the bloated and turgid anthems that the band were knocking out ten a penny. and in come. well, cheap pastiches of a handful of influences the band never knew they had. At various times this record sounds like Chic. The Beach Boys. New Order. The Buzzcocks. The Lemonheads and Blur trying to be Io-fi. but at no obint is it convinCing as a Manics album. Except that there's still plenty of their trademark puerile sloganeering. unfOrtunately now horribly exposed without the songwriting to cover for it. (Doug Johnstonel
Forever Changes (Electra) 0000.
Arthur Lee and his merry bunch of 603 Psychedelic Love Gods released many brilliant albums. but this is the one that caught the hippie Spirit in 1967. A close contender for one of the greatest rock albums of all time. this sees blistering mariachi horns and stabbing harpSichord building acid- drenched castles around Lee's dirty garage poeticism. This cleaned up 'new version' boasts
seven bOnus tracks including alternative mixes of 'Alone Again 0." and ‘YOu Set The Scene'. The remastering of the Original eleven tracks is Simply breathtaking and does powerful JUSthe to these brilliant songs. A must have. this is about as good as listening to rock mUSIC gets.
ROCK AEROSMITH Just Press Play (Columbia) 0000
Really, it's enough to make you sick. The Toxic Twms have snoned the whole of Peru and are now bus pass holders. yet they still look great and turn out effOrtlessly belting rock'n'roll records like this. The worst thing about Just Press Play is the artwork (sexy robots are so ten years ago). cos mUSlCally Aerosmith rock like the bastards they undoubtedly are. OK. there are a couple of MTV friendly ballads here. but even they kick the poxy face off of any of the band's contemporaries. Christ. this record even has loops. scratching and rapping on it. and it still sounds great. Like I said. makes yOu Sick.
SOUL ELECTRONIC VARIOUS ARTISTS I Am Fearless, Funky And Five (Tummy Touch) 0...
Five years might not seem much of a lifetime to some but it's amazing what some can ahieve in such a space of time. Tummy Touch have made a habit of churning out smart but not clever Clever music for neigh on 60 months. and now they have rounded up an edited highlights of their
102 THE LIST 15—29 Mar 20th
ELECTRONiC DAFT PUNK
Discovery (Virgin) 0...
Well, they’ve gone all rock, pop and baroque. From daft punk to daft
funk to daft monk. It’s certainly not Homework, which is still one of the best dance music albums ever. But
it is a riot.
Savour that first listen when every new track is a surprise, and try to stop yourself from laughing out loud at the madness. From the familiar vocodered housed-up P- funk on ‘One More Time' through rock operas, pop ditties and party tunes, we’re given monastic church organs, metal guitar solos and the crispiest electro funk. There's even DJ Sneak guesting on ‘Digital Love’,
a summery pop song with added medieval trumpet flourishes which culminates in a guitar solo Van Halen would have been proud of if it didn’t sound like it was played on a toy
guitar from Argos.
\- ' ‘
Elaborate hoax or disjointed genius?
And just when you think ‘what the fuck is going on?’, remnants of Homework’s filtered disco legacy creep back in, but it's the eccentricities which really appeal. What’s with the harps and Jean Michel Jarre impressions on ‘Veridis Quo’? What’s with the easy listening funk of ‘Something About Us"? Only those crazy French boys know. Oh yeah, and there’s ‘Too Long’, a killer Romanthony tune at the end that'll be tearing up dancefloors for months to come.
Despite all this, there is the nagging doubt that it’s just an elaborate hoax, disguising disjointed genre synthesis as musical innovation rather than admit that they’ve lost the necessary youth and vigour of Homework. Many of these tracks would have been mocked as mere retroist noodling had they not had the Daft Punk stamp of quality on them. That aside, Discovery will divide as many as Eminem without resorting to lazy shock tactics. And maybe that’s its real strength. I /n the true spirit of Daft ‘Punk ', this review was written by the robots stored in
our production department cupboard.
roster for your delictation. While Groove Armada and Tim ‘Love' Lee may be the ace faces that jump out of the pack. there is a whole handful of aces stuck up their sleeves. Cousm Grizzly's slightly unhinged. moody 'Centrefold' and Crackpot's ‘Tippy Tip Toe' is as sexy sweet a SOul rub as you would find anywhere. And at only a fiver. you won't blow all yOur pocket money in one go either.
ELECTRONlC FUNK D’VOID DOS.(Soma) Co.
This Swede may now be reSiding in Barcelona but there is still the heart of Glasgow's deep house Clubland beating here. With a definite sleazy 805 disco feel going on in the background most of it rolls along at an up tempo rate. such as on current
FM 0' limo DOS
12in 'Barnabeats'. But the stand out track for me has to be 'Diabla' which really kicks with its puls- ing tech-house beats. Overall pretty funky but it never quite reaches the hedonistic heights of Funk 0' Void's undisputed 1995 classic ‘Jack Me Off'. A solid if unremarkable addition to Glasgow's faVOurite dance label Soma's discography.
ELECTRONlC PRESSURE DROP Tread (Columbia) be. 7
Since their genesis in mid-80's London. the duo of Justin Langlands and Dave Henley have never quite made the leap into mainstream success that their nearest contemporaries Leftfield did with such panache. Tread only has an outside chance of vaulting its way onto too many coffee tables. but that doesn't mean it's not w0rth yOur attention. This is a breakbeat album that's as heavy on vocal melodies as it is on spine-)arring bass. and high points include the uplifting SOUl of ‘Unconditional' and the
accelerated. reggae- inflected hip hop of Single ‘Warrior SOund'. Highly listenable. but hardly exceptional. (James Smart)
VARIOUS ARTISTS The Rough Guide To Bluegrass (World MUSIC Network) 00
Bluegrass is the Celtic spine of American music. With a Presbyterian rig0ur in its adenoidal vocals. gospel-derived harmonies. SCratChing and clattering mandolin and banjo. It's finding new friends. too. With stars like Steve Earle and Ricky Skaggs returning to its steely disciplines — but there's no room for them in this misleading collection. or for legendary figures like Jimmy Martin. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. or even the father of the genre. Scots-descended Bill Monroe. Brace y0urself instead for a surfeit of the scrt of bluegrass-tinged COuntry which the likes of Alison Krauss have made popular. Disapoomtlng. (Ninian Dunnett)
-7 smtérism BAND
Happy Daze Ten‘ple'v 0000
New \Cur‘g snger Karine Po wart adds such a Sparkle to toe \eteran touring Scots band — her guitar siotting right into the pipes-and-fiddle led Instrumental sets — and her expression-rich \oice Just right as a foil fcr founder Alan Reid's in the opening ballad duet. She ex en takes that old standard 'The Banks Of Red Roses“ and gix es it a new perfume. while her sengwriting COl‘tflbLlIBS a fine final track in 'Start It All Over Again. Correction that's the final track as listed on the cover. but tOur extra tracks are tasters froit‘. SOlO protects by band members. and previous Battlefield albums. With guest appearances by various musician pals. the new album — dedicated to former Singer Daw Steele — sets a new direction. (NOrman Chalmers)
ARNIE SOMOGYI Cold Cherry Soup (Forged Records) 0000
Arnie Somogyi's long awaited debut disc as a leader features the kind of bright. inventive contemporary jazz we have come to expect from one of the best bass players on the UK scene. Arnie acknow- ledges his Hungarian ancestry. both in the choice of personnel (the band also features saxo-phonist Tony Lakatos and guitarist ZSOlt Bende. with pianist Liam Noble and drummer Winston Clifford). and in occa8ional mu5ical alluSions. Somogyi and Lakatos take most of the compositional credits. but even where the bassist turns to arrangements of a couple of traditional Hungarian tunes. he opts to realise them in a very definite jazz idiom. With any ethnic touches reserved as subtle undertones in the overall feel. (Kenny Mathieson)