I've been driving round Surrey in this Rolls- Royce for two hours now; I‘m trying to find a club called the Walton Hop. I need to get some 15-year-old boys to fill in my special rock‘n'roll survey.
Anyway here's the re8ults so far. Leviathans don't come much greater than Ozzy Osbourne, straight in at number 666 with 'Dreamer’ (Sony 0 ). We want him to be getting rabies shots in under-funded hospitals. he wants to be John Lennon singing ‘lmagine'. About as heartfelt as a politicians pledge. Oh, look, a boy on a bicycle. maybe he can give me directions: I think I need a bit of 'Dutch Courage' (No Label 00. ) by Scots songsmiths The Sundowns. Sweet. folky and sunkissed, but they need to lose the Yankee vocals.
Tetra Splendour's ‘Pollen Fever' (Wishakismo .0. ) starts off with an Oasis riff then slips effortlessly into an early Pavement pastiche. with Gareth Jones' vocals hidden somewhere in the mix and a nice use of 303 style sound effects. Not bad for a former trad jazz trio from Portcawl. Jad Fair (he of Half Japanese infamy) and Teenage Fanclub tell it like is with 'Near To You' (Geographic 00.0 ), and here the Fannies prove that even though they may now sound like Ween, they're just a bunch of overgrown American College Rockers at heart.
Completed on the sad day that Guru Harrison died, “The Pioneers EP' (Truck/Virgin COO ) by Oxfordshire five piece Goldrush is a lovely slice of sub—Flaming Lips pretension with some nicely feverish backing vocals.
Some may call him a God. he calls himself a homosapian, but Buzzcock Pete Shelley's influence is all over the Real Shocks new single 'Curly Wurly' (Lithium COO. ): this glorious hapless punky tune is a delight. The White Stripes new single “Fell In Love with A Girl' (XL 00 ) proves that they may soon become The Carpenters for the mentally ill. One of the weakest tunes on their excellent album, this is a bit of a non-event.
Finally. the Single Of The Week is Bobby Conn's 'Winners' (Thrill Jockey COO. ). Is that Michael Jackson having his balls slowly squeezed by Prince? No. its a 35-year-old New Yorker who hangs out with Jim O’Rourke and Tonoise‘ John McEntire. This is full-blooded beautifully executed funk. the kind you thought didn‘t exist anymore.
Ah, here we are the Walton Hop. Let's go and see what the kids are listening to . . . (Paul Dale)
The righteous Bobby Conn
102 THE LIST M 28 Feb 2002
ROCK - TANYA DONELLY
Beautysleep (4A0) .00.
Its been four years including a first taste of motherhood since Donelly, indie veteran of Throwing Muses. Breeders and Belly, released a record. This new solo outing continues the singer‘s move away from fizzy guitar pop to deeper. American Gothic. alt.c0untry territory. and in the process displays incredible depth. confidence and experimentation about it.
Donelly's voice is sweeter than ever. and shown off to mesrnerising effect on the likes of the heartbusting ‘The Storrn'. while lyrically there is a fresh new directness in songs like ‘l‘m Keeping You' and ‘The Wave'. making Beautysleep one of the best things Donelly's ever produced.
QUIET CITY Public Face, Private Face
This may be billed as a Nigel Thomas solo record but fans of the Blue Nile can take comfort in the fact that messieurs Buchannan and Moore are all apparent along with a huge percussion and brass section.
This may not be ‘A Walk Across The Rooftops‘ but it is intelligent. elegantly conceived and rewarding after a few listens. For the most part these are instrumental pieces written and arranged by Thomas who proves he can still lay down as cheesy and majestic a composnion as anyone. However ‘Due North‘ and ‘Things We Should Say' see Paul Buchannan belting out his theatrical brand of melancholia like he's never been away. Well worth a listen.
JAZZ RENAUD GARCIA- FONS
Navigatore (Enja) COO.
Renaud Garcia-Fons draws on a treasure trove of musical forms and ethnic instruments in creating this wonderful album. Jazz is certainly one of them. but it is not by any means a straight jazz album. The bass player. a fabulous improviser with a sound to die for. also draws on the music of his native Spain. with its strong Moorish and Celtic echoes. as well as influences from the near and far east and classical music. He unites these diverse elements in distinctive and highly satisfying fashion. and does so with a creative integrity that takes the music beyond being just a convincing 'world music' fusion.
IKARA COLT Chat And Business (Plastic Fantast:ci COO.
Romping and stomping into Our lives just as we were on the verge of resigning Ourselves to the notion that rock'n'roll was music made by those wrld Yankee kids. take courage in lkara Colt.
For their debut platter this quartet of snarly Londoners have lassoed in a guitar noise that is part detuned-Sonic Youth chime and part Stooges grimy fuzz. This is mated with some seismic Gang Of Four bottom-end rumble and shrewd garage-rock sensibilities. and is injected wrth a shouty. shouty shouty~ ness all of their own. An instant. acerbic. power— ounk-pop gem.
ALSO RELEASED Various Artists All Tomorrow 's Ralf/es (The US “Te/irier‘no/i) (A 773R) The altr'nusit: festival releases another instalment.
Sade L. we live (Virgin) Multrmillion selling soul diva goes true.
Ps2 WIPEOUT FUSION (Sony) £39.99 one
Those who were expecting a massive leap
forward in the Wipeout experience will be disappointed with Fusion. It is not the benchmark, the classic, the masterpiece that the success of the previous titles demands. Nor is it a wildly ambitious gaming experiment in the mould of the original Wipeout, a work of sheer genius. It is not even much of an advance, more of a new branch on a very familiar tree. But what
an enjoyable branch.
At the heart of the game, the Wipeout racing remains unchanged. Anti-gravity speed machines tearing around absurd tracks, launching all manner of weaponry at each other, striving to win enough races to reach the next championship. It is still frantically addictive and has a learning curve that is expertly paced.
The changes in Fusion are structural. No longer are all weapons available from the start. They must be unlocked, along with better teams, wilder tracks and vehicle upgrades, by winning races or completing challenges. This allows each player to develop his or her own style of racing, tweaking their floating Ferraris as the various cups are won. Such is the change in structure that your progress is now charted in percentage points, a rough guide to how good, or bad, you
The one mild irritation is the track design. Despite some good weather effects and dust clouds, none of the environments really stands out. This is a shame because, as any Wipeout player will testify, there is little point in playing in a group if you cannot be king of a track.
In all honesty, Wipeout Fusion should have been a release game for the P82, should have sold units and consoles alike and we should now be playing the next generation of Wipeout proper. As it is, Fusion is a strong title, with much to offer. If only it had been that massive leap.
CRICKET 2002 (Electronic Arts) £39.99 .0.
Cricket may not be everyone's first choice for computer sports simulation. It is slow. lthlitI£1l(2 ziritl tinv-relcoming. everything a casual gamer hates. And yet. Electronic Arts has done a great job in making Cricket 2002 immensely playable. even during your first innings.
The graphics are clean and basic. sometimes wandering into ‘.‘.’()(}ftl|,
yet successfth capture the spirit of cricket. Beta/ling and batting are difficult to master and contain enough randomness to keep any experts interested. Winning isn't easy but when it eventually comes. it is a joyous thing. There are a good \.ariation of team statistics and enough helpful options to find your own level of interaction. OK. it may be WlllIOl'. but turn the heating up. pop open a few cans of Red Stripe and crank up Cricket