. ROCK records@| 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.

(Mark Robertson)




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.

(Tim Abrahams)


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?

Nerves don‘t

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

Doorsy cop-out.

(Vicky Davidson)



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

Addiction splattered

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)


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.

(Doug Johnstone)