. ROCK records@|lst.co.uk GARBAGE
PAUL WELLER Days Of Speed (lndependiente) ooo
Recorded on various solo dates with only a lone guitar for protection. this eighteen- track collection lifts tracks from all Weller‘s solo studio albums and chucks in a smattering (and don't get excited. it is just a smattering) of Jam material.
His earthy. husky tones ring familiar as ever and while the Woking brogue he once flaunted with youthful pride has given way to a mid-Atlantic drawl - especially noticeable on his reading of ‘That's Entertainment' - he proves himself a most talented. if not quite so vital songwriter still.
‘You Do Something To Me' is still as tender a ballad as you'd ever need and ‘Wildwood'. ‘Headstart For Happiness' and ‘Above The Clouds‘ enjoy a casual looseness in this format that is different and interesting but not necessarily better.
THE ARGUMENT (Dischord) COO
Fugazi have never truly fitted in. From their straight edge punk roots in the early 80s they have ploughed their own distinct unique furrow and The Argument. their sixth full-length studio album continues their mission to cleanse the bones of music free from blubber with emotionally-charged. wiry rock.
Their twin-pronged guitar attack from Guy Piccottio and Ian
Mackaye is more subdued than ever here although there are still moments of distorted growl. Their two previous records have had an edge of unpredictable excitement about them and although The Argument meshes melody. noise and rhythmical gymnastics with satisfying clarity. it lacks the breathless anger or frailty of some of their better work. Good. but frustrating. (Mark Robertson)
SIMPLE MINDS Neon Lights (Eagle) Everything that you have heard about this album is true. With their last album Our Secrets Are The Same unlikely to see the light of day for a while as it remains mercifully trapped in some legal limbo. Simple Minds have spent their time in an extremely unwise way by covering ten of their favourite songs with inevitably disastrous consequences. Kraftwerk, Neil Young. Bowie, The Doors and The Velvets are all put to the sword by Jim Kerr's second-hand mid— Atlantic wail and distorted guitar sounds that Charlie Burchill has apparently pillaged from the last U2 album but two. Unbelievably they manage a version of ‘Dancing Barefoot‘ which manages to sound worse than both U2 and The Mission's put together. This is truly, truly. truly shit.
Loss (Blanco Y Negro) 0..
There was quite a fuss created last year by the debut MHS single, ‘Barcode Bypass'. While the endearingly twee mini-anthem was a delightful surprise. that wilfully plinky- plonky sound begins to grate when stretched over a whole album. In general the singles stand out. the aforementioned
108 THE LIST 4—18 Oct 2001
Beautiful Garbage (Mushroom) .0.
You can't help but wonder if Garbage feel a wee bit
disenfranchised. In terms of pop stereotypes. the weeping damsel
(see Dido) has effaced the sarky dominatrix lead singer Shirley
Manson played so well, while the ‘ooh — androgyny!‘ niche market
they used to rule has been solidly occupied by Marilyn Manson. Ironically enough. if current single ‘Androgyny' is meant to be a
§ new direction. it isn‘t a bad one. a chunky riff set to a nu-soul
production job that would make R Kelly proud. Lyrically though. the
i band are still confusing the deviant with the dull. with Shirley
panting ‘boys in the girls’ room/ girls in the men's room‘ as if she's
plotting a bad porn flick.
Elsewhere on the record. Garbage return to the tightly produced industrial bluster of their past. ‘Parade' crackles along at a fair old pace. and ‘Silence Is Golden’ has the portentous croony bits and
thrashing fast bits that have provided an effective template for them in the past. And yet the stronger tracks are those where the
band make some attempt to move on from their origins. as in the
surprisingly understated balladeering of ‘80 Like A Rose'.
l Garbage seem unwilling to put too much trust in such new
directions. but lack the conviction to give their older-style material
the clout it so desperately needs. Beautiful Garbage is not a bad
album. but neither is it a truly good one. It's the sound of a
3 reasonable band winding down. not a great band limbering up.
1 (James Smart)
‘Barcode Bypass‘ and ‘I Tried' especially affecting. but too much i of Loss is simply sub- standard indie filler. Add to that. mainman Colin Mclntyre’s tendency for self-pity and corny f cliches. as in ‘Only I' or i the cod-608 beat of ‘Mull Historical Society'. and you've got a debut album that could have ? been a whole lot better. (Doug Johnstone)
NERVES World Of Gold
(Thrill Jockey) ooo
If this album was scratch
‘n' sniff. it'd smell like
creaky leather keks at the arse-end of a three-
; month tour of every two-
I bit shitty truck stop
across America. It's the
sound of three blokes
l plugging in, turning up
and whacking it out. It's
not groundbreaking. but
I who said basic. sweaty
rock ‘n' roll has to be?
necessarily rock hard,
; but solid. Singer/guitarist
Rob Datum's scuzzy
blues sprawl across the album. yowling like an
I alleycat. snarling up with
Jon Spencer or hollering
in a Cave-like hurricane.
Songs like Yorkie-
' munchin' ‘Suffering
l Highway' and dark little
; number ‘Behind The Trees' keep your eyes
on the road. though it's
i a shame last song
! ‘Orange Wine' is a
‘ Volumes 7 & 8 (Rekids Rekids) ooo
This latest missive from Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme's desert collective spins from Moroccan decadence
on openers ‘Don't Drunk Poison' and 7 apocalyptically galloping
“Hanging Tree' — on
j which Screaming Trees guest Mark Lanegan
é doesn't do anything
vocals couldn't — into extravagant experiMentalism and plain chaos (‘Interpretive Reading“. 'Ending'). ‘Polly Want A Crack Rock‘ plunders Jane's
spite, piston-pumping engine and insanely effortless hooks. Jimmy Page’s spirit suffuses
glam-stomping ‘Up In
Hell' while the acoustic
ShirIey you can do better than that?
simplicity of ‘Making A
Cross'. building to a frowning bassy growl. could reduce Bowie to tears. Conversely
‘Winners' wouldn't sit
out of place in Aphex Twin's knicker-drawer and ‘Courvasier' is Barry White doing murder ballads.
Sex and drugs are legal tender. Ringmaster Homme bids you cough up . . . (Vicky Davidson)
Much Was Decided Before You Were Born (Human Condition) .0.
After the early EP and live show promise. very much was expected of the debut long player
from Glasgow's Sputniks
Down. And despite ample moments to keep Mogwai fans ticking over until their next release. there isn't enough vibrant originality going on to justify more than a couple of listens. Endless chord repetitions. breathy ‘vocals' and baggy structures give it all a well-worn texture. Much of this stuff had been done before they were formed. And that
title should really have less of a Manics overtone. Next time. chaps. (Brian Donaldson)
EXPERIMENTAL THENSILVER MT.
IO ORCHESTRA & TRA-LA-LA BAND Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward (Constellation) O...
OK. a Godspeed You Black Emperor! side project is never going to bother Kylie in a chart battle. but this second Silver Mt. Zion long player is a mesmerising and often breathtaking piece of music. We‘re in ‘exploring sonic boundaries' territOry here. but don‘t be put off. it‘s worth the investment of time and emotion. honest. Based around strings. piano and guitar. Born /nto Trouble. . . is by turns gentle. sombre. frightening and eerie. but is always performed with a considered. meticulous and dramatic hand. 'Musicians are cowards' yelps band leader Efrim towards the end. Not on this showing. pal.