RAWK ANDREW W.K. I Get Wet (Mercury) 0000
Sadly not shit
Listeners of a nervous disposition and a certain age (late 20$ onwards, roughly) should avoid any contact with Andrew W.K.. Rock music of days gone by is constantly being regurgitated and reinvented as it should, but do we really need this? Taking as a blueprint nothing less than the cheesiest end of dumb 805 American pop metal, Mr W.K. has created a monster which almost defies description, but is somehow, Christ only knows how, pretty addictive. The answer is yes, we do need this. Badly.
The glammed-up ghosts of Billy Idol, Motley Criie, Skid Row and even Sigue Sigue Sputnik (shudder) haunt the melodies and riffs of I Get Wet, from speed-soaked opener ‘lt’s Time To Party’ to the brain-scrambling rant of ‘Party Til You Puke’, and all partying points in between. Make no mistake, I Get Wet is probably the dumbest collection of songs ever created, but it’s also hugely enjoyable, and will regularly make you laugh out loud at the sheer bloody- minded (and bloody-nosed, judging by the accompanying press shots) audacity of it all.
The thing which saves Andrew W.K. from being a hideous parody of the music he emulates is the man’s unerring pop sensibilities. Every single one of the twelve tracks here is instantly, irritatingly singable, something guaranteed to get worthy indie fans apoplectic with rage. Another good reason why we need this prize-winning daftie. The fact that no one else in the world would have thought this album was a good idea makes I Get Wet an almost indispensable record. (Doug Johnstone)
106THE LIST' " 7t ..
POP CAMERA OBSCURA Biggest Bluest Hi-fi (Andmoresound) OOO
How many Belle and Sebastians can one city sustain? On the strength of this skip- along debut. it might well be two.
Formed in 1996. now with a Peel session under their belts. Camera Obscura deliver a Quintessentially Glaswegian post- Postcard acoustic country pop. Complete with orchestral flourishes and fey. modishly out of tune. don't-wake-the- neighbours vocals. Biggest BIL/est Ht-f/ makes more than a passing nod to Belle and Sebastian (Eighties Fan' is even produced by Stuart Murdoch). but its sensitive songs about houseboats. thunderstorms and being wrapped up cosy and tight. whimsical though they are. remain just the right side of parody. (Mark Fisher)
THE CRANBERRIES Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
lf yOu loved their previous big hit ’Zombie' this is the album for yOu. But if. like the rest of us. it repelled you with its cracked screeching chorus. you will hate it. It's generally that song sixteen times (yep there are three bonus tracks on the special edition to prolong the agony) at various speeds. In fact there are a few tunes. including new single 'Analysis'. that sound almost l(l(}l)ll\1£l| to it. but with different lyrics. lhere is no innovation or
even variety. it just treads the same old ground again and again. Even the title is naff. It'll probably sell millions. (Henry NOrthmore)
INDIE/ROCK GENE Libetine (Contra) 0..
Gene may be off their major label and out of the NME features pages. but they're still following the Smiths' jauntily mOurnful path. Still. they were never the Morrissey covers band in disguise they were so often made out to be. and there are times this. their fifth studio album. SOunds simply wonderful. as when the tasteful guitar licks of 'Yours For the Taking' fade into its beautiful. arching piano coda. “A Simple Request. meanwhile sees the boys harness their indie cart to a wayward blues riff.
Many of the other songs are unexceptional. but on such a display it would seem premature to write Gene off just yet. (James Smart)
American Rock ‘N' Roll (Twenty Stone Blatt) 0.0
They might have shared a stage with The White Stripes. but it's unlikely the RC5 are ever going to enjoy the same son of critical acclaim. It's not so much that yOu know exactly what to expect from titles such as 'Mindfucker' and ‘Die (In The Night)‘. the completely irony-free way they can deliver a chorus like 'I knew this nurse. she got her head down right'. Please God. save us! It's still bloody exciting in a one- dimensional sort of way. though. as the Seattle crew struggle with that age-old punk conundrum: how to keep a good tune going while making as much racket as possible. (Davrd Pollock)
- METAL KITTIE Oracle (Sony) 000
While opening tracks ‘Oracle' and 'Mouthful Of Poison' are bricks of rage hurled fast and straight in a spleen- venting. abrasive aural assault. Kittie are at their best when they deploy those excellent contrasts of vocal which are key to this second album. a haunting femininity twisting around the rock roar.
Most interesting track is ‘Ftun Like Hell'. which has impressive. jaw- breaking rock riffs offset with melodic flourishes and a vocal that could almost in places pass for a less anaemic Gwen Stefani. punctuated with furiOus explosions. The straight vocals are used to maximum. eerily seductive effect on final track. ten-minute epic ‘Pink Lemonade‘. a meditative black rose with goth undertones. It doesn't sound like they‘ve reached their full potential yet. but they've clearly matured with the Ozzfest tour experience. (Vicky Davidson)
ELECTRONICA PLAYGROUP Playgroup (Source) 0...
As those eejits geniuses Daft Punk proved with skill and ease. the past is there for the plundering and should be with scant regard for respect or restraint. With his debut as Playgroup. Trevor Jackson (AKA Brit hip hop producer The Underdog) has taken some of neglected heroes of yesterday combined them with some contemporary faces. binding them together with his own wagons of gloopy, occasionally sIea/y
electronics to create a twisted gem of an album.
Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna, Roddy Frame. Dennis Bovell and the ever dapper Edwyn Collins all make appearances here but this is no left-field ‘Stars On 45'. Jackson’s slink falls somewhere between Daft Punk's chirrups and squelches. The Clash's dubbier moments and Massive Attack's bruised beats. A curious. but loveable assonment.
Cold House (Domino) 0000
Although they've warranted comparisons with Aphex Twin and earned a namecheck from Mogwai. this sibling duo also measwe up equally to one of their own musical inspirations: Talk. Talk. that is. the 80s far less cool synth symphony composers. The minimalist. largely electronic production is there. of course. as are the floating vocals. by turns tender and emotionless. The more conventional indie-pop of 'I Can't Find My Brittle Youth' changes pace around halfway. but the tone of the album is aptly set by the likes of ‘Lines Low To Frozen Ground‘. so spectral it barely exists. The new Boards Of Canada. anyone? (David Pollock)
ELECTRONICA FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON Papua New Guinea Translations (Jumpin' And Pumpin') 0..
Alright. pay attention . . . here's the history bit. In 1992. Garry Cobain and Brian DOugans created ‘Papua New Guinea'. one of the biggest. most recognisable trance anthems ever. And now — almost ten years after the fact — they've reVisited and reiinagined it on this remix collection. Of course. the term 'reinix'