ROCK BLACK CROWES Lions (V2) 000
DeSpite the fact that they fancy themselves as The Rolling Stones circa Exile On Main Street. the Black Crowes have always been a bit Aerosmith. On their sixth studio album. the latter resemblance is all too evident with the southern harmonies and stoner rock of former days being predominantly ditched in favour of highly produced, commercial guitar anthems. This ‘bigger sound' is perhaps down to the more commercially- minded Don Was of Was Not Was fame being on board as producer. Either way. fans will be disappointed that the raw 605 rock energy of their former albums has been diluted and re- packaged for the mass market.
Echo Park (ECHO) OOO
Now that rock proper is back at the helm. Feeder release their third album into a receptive musical climate. Known for their thrashing heavy rock, this Welsh/ Japanese combo have produced a mature. slick piece of work. demonstrating their accomplished sound. comfortably growing into the niche they have carved in the minds of the rock set.
Alternating trademark raw aggression. and slower, angsty tracks with more surprising electronic sounds, Echo Park is an easy mixture of styles. Unfortunately. the music is let down by trite narrative lyrics which almost verge on the ldlewild school of repetition.
Ultimately. Feeder produce wholly listenable. good. dependable rock. but
they fail to inspire With this take-it-or-leave-it Offering. (Maureen EiilS)
ELECTRONIC RUBY Short-Staffed At The
Gene Pool (Wichita) OOO
“mm-um 1“ er the.
Scots born Lesley Rankine (ex-frontperson to scuzzy noiseniks Silverfish) is back in the business called show
following a five year
absence. She brings with her this somewhat archaic second solo project. archaic because linking an industrial rock past with an electronic future is now considered old hat. Granted her vocal credentials are good and save for the cod European vocal stylings on ‘Queen Of Denial'. Ruby alternates between bewitching harpy and sassy vocoder diva. Many
(Mekon among them) contribute credibility and Ruby is at her most beguiling when she fuses jazz arrangements with lo-fi breakbeat on 'Lamplight' and drum 8. bass scatterings on ‘Roses'.
Junkshop (Microbe UK)
One man with a big
head full of daft musical
ideas and a lo—fi attitude — it's a formula that's worked well en0ugh in
' the past. Unfortunately. in the case of Parisian
Benoit Rault. a lot of
those ideas happen to
be someone else's.
Somewhat in awe of
records like Ode/ay and The Hour Of The
I Junkshop is a scruffin
endearing if hardly original debut. There's a dog-eared charm about songs like slacker- gospel ‘Surfing USA' (not a cover) and recent
3 single ‘Schoolgirl'. but
1 10 THE LIST 26 Apr-10 May 2001
too much of Junkshop is made up of second- hand Beckian grooves and bleeps mixed With leftOver Badly Drawn strums and wobbles. (Doug Johnstone)
ELECTRONIC MOUSE ON
ldiology (Domino) O...
Any idiot with a SyntheSIser can make a neise which s0unds like the world falling apart but it takes a special kind of musical intelligence to do so and make it sound good. To then add that nOIse successfully to a track which sounds like a trad jazz Outfit maintaining their attempts to perform as they fall down a large flight of stairs. takes a special kind of genius. Yet this is exactly what Mouse on Mars achieve on the second track of ldio/ogy. Littered with mushed up analogue. juneg cut- ups and the odd calming wash. this follow-up to 1999's Niun Niggung achieves the masterful act of treading the fine-line between the chaotic and the sublime to create a sound which is part Germanic and part the-Lord-only- knows-what. (Tim Abrahams)
No Comprendo (Matador) 0000
omprendo? NO. mate. neither do I. This collection of tracks written and performed by Finnish/Turkish/ German dude Khan. who once made quality techno in New York and then more laid-back stuff in the UK for Ninja Tune and Fat Cat. is a treasure trove of oddity. Featuring guest vocals from artists as diverse as Jon Spencer (of the eponymous Explosion). Julee Cruise and the
threatening tones of Kid
Congo Powers. this
album is strangely
I Goodbye'. featuring
ROCKPOP THE JAM
Singles Box Set 1977-1979 (Universal) 0.. Singles Box Set 1980—1982 (Universal) 0...
The Jam were a freak of nature, a quality singles act who remained credible despite chart success. These eighteen CDs bring together all their A and B-sides in a couple of handy boxes and follow chronologically their brief, but incredibly fruitful career. The CDs offer enhanced video tracks for the completists out there but feel insubstantial next to a pile of old seven
Kicking off with their 1977 debut ‘In The City’, Box One illustrates how The Jam, like many bands of the era, grew up in public. While A-sides like ‘Modern World’ and ‘David Watts’ highlighted Paul Weller‘s rapidly developing songcraft skills, foppish toe curlers like ‘Carnaby Street’ and ‘lnnocent Man’ harked back to the school music room. Only when we get to ‘Strange Town’ b/w ‘Butterfly Collector’ do we really see the genius begin to shine through. Box One ends with ‘Eton Rifles’ their first top ten hit that cemented their status as one of Britain’s biggest bands.
Box Two traces the band's most commercially successful period with their four number one singles ‘Going Underground’, ‘Start!’, ‘A Town Called Malice’ and ‘Beat Surrender’ contained within. Such was their level of popularity at the time that ‘That’s Entertainment' charted at number 21 on import sales alone. Weller’s desire to push the band’s sound back towards their soul roots again is apparent on the expansive sound of their later singles, hinting at the future he was to carve out for himself with The Style Council. ‘Bitterest Pill’ and ‘Beat Surrender’, close the collection, the former still showing Weller’s ear for classic pop but without the fire of
before. (Mark Robertson)
Cruise. is epic electro- cabaret whilst ‘Les Gros
Nichons‘, with the
charmingly-monikered Franc0ise Cactus on vocals. is deep-house psychobilly. Mr Khan
now lives in Mexico researching new
languages. Odd bloke.
HIP HOP REACHOUT
Roks ‘N’ Rolls (Oh-Eye) 0...
From the multi-lingual
greeting of 'Here it is!‘
with Roots Manuva and
the reminiscing of
‘Sunny D Life'.
Reachout's debut fills
your world with witty and compelling rhyming. Made up of ten tracks that stand out on their own for a variety of reasons. the album features some of the brilliant ‘Bristo Sq” EP along with some new
‘ UK raw hip hop. Room
prevents me from waxing lyrical about this phenomenal release but if you are in any way interested in hip hop then this is a must for the collection. And if you have ever doubted whether Scotland can make quality rap then this will be the one to
win you over.
’ FRANTI AND
Stay Human (Parlophone) .00.
Michael Franti got our attention. in the early 90s. through Disposable
Heroes Of Hiphoprisy. then Spearhead and
with this release he's sure to gather even more fans. The album is linked together by a radio show where they discuss the tale of a death row inhabitant. assisted by Woody
Harrelson in the guise of the corrupt governor. Genocide. death penalty. Princess Diana's death and claiming to have shot JFK and Ronald Reagan and to have slept With Marilyn Monroe are all dealt With in the first song. From there on it gets even bUSler as Michael's lyrics combine with hip hop. p-funk. disco. folk. electronac and jazz. Outstanding. is a word that springs to mind. (Stewart Dalley)
ELECTRONIC VARIOUS ARTISTS Timo Maas: Connected (Perfecte)
German DJ Timo Maas is the current king of the trance world. QUleiy rising up the ranks to become one of the biggest draws on the club circuit. Now you can sample his