The Rocky Comershop‘
Confession. The first single I ever bought was the 1982 Scotland World Cup Squad's “We Have A Dream’ (WEA 00000). Just had to share that. The first LP was the 100 per cent less risible Big Hits, High ﬁde And Green Grass. the Stones at their best and including 'Paint It Black'. a song covered by Buffseeds. Which is kinda spooky doncha think? The Buffs mistake a conversational lyric for story telling but that's OK cos the nasal tones of ‘Barricade‘ (Fantastic Plastic COO ) sound not unlike The Bluetones. Ditto the next bunch, which is probably just as well as they are The Bluetones. 'After Hours' (Superior Quality 000 ) is plodding but a perky cover of 'Women In Love‘ makes amends.
Don’t you just loathe all those SOUlleSS. gimpy. pseudo-retro bands? You know. the kind Paul Weller is forever endorsing. The 45’s ‘Waiting For My Heart To Break‘ (Mercury 00 ) IS Syd Barrett with stabilizers and Simian's ‘Mr Crow’ (Source .0 ) is yet more of the same whinging tosh.
'Mankind' (Much Better .00 ) is about as cutting edge as Paul Hardcastle but it's slinky electronica and inspired by the bombing of Afghanistan. Viva Stereo are the band. fae Glasgow like, and it does them no disservice to reference The Beta Band. That's pronOunced bay- ta of course. a la John Cusack in High Fidelity.
Who would no doubt have signed up Torqamada on the spot. They play ‘axes‘. they shout at the devil and “Mattress Majesty' (Bronx Cheer COO ) is a spirited Joey Ramone tribute. though Joey may well have balked at the crap lyric. You gotta be pretty clever to pen a real dumb one. kids. More bouncy Tigger-rock from Quincy. the men who fell to earth but had the misfortune to land in Aberdeen. ‘Aliens' (Western Union 0” ) live under your bed. they claim. but we all know they flit between Venus and Bonnybridge.
The Faint are billed as “Nebraska's answer to Heaven 17'. 'Agenda Suicide' (Fierce Panda 0000 ) is curious. old/new romantic. like Human League beating the crap out of Blur. Take that. Coxon, you miserable bleeder. I would have thought the same of Alﬁe but alas ‘A Word In Your Ear’ (Twisted Nerve 00. ) confounds my prejudice. Yes. Starsailor remain an abomination. but Alfie do their Nick Drake thing rather nicely. In the least pejorative sense.
You can always rely on Matador to bring you something. well, bull-ish. The New Pornographers' ‘Letter From An Occupant' (Matador 0000 ) is smiley pop with a Kim Deal bubble-gum vocal. Music for milkmen to jump in puddles to. But it's KO-ed for the title of Single Of The Fortnight by the far-too-Iong AWOL Cornershop. ‘Lessons Learnt From Rocky I To Rocky Ill‘ (\Niiija 00000) is essentially 'Brimful Of Asha Part 2'; freaked-out. cranked-up. knocked- off Bolan rockerama. And thank Christ in 1982 I chose not to purchase Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger' . . . (Rodger Evans)
_.JAZZ . _ PAT METHENY
100 THE LIST 28 Feb—111 Mar 2032
GROUP Speaking Of Now (Warner Bros) 000
First chance on disc to
check out the new line-up of guitarist Pat Metheny's very successful electric group. and the results are decidedly mixed. Old hands Lyle Mays (keys) and Steve Rodby (bass) are jOined by trumpeter Cuong Vu. who doesn't iitake much of an impact (or isn't allowed to. maybe). drummer Antonio Sanchez. and the voice and perCuSSion of Richard Bona.
The latter's soft-focus coittributions don't do inuch for this listener. and the better moments in the album come when Metheny and his conons stretcn out from the comfortable ir‘i-the-pocket world-jazz feel and nudge towards something a bit mere adventurous. iKenny Mathieson)
MONICA QUEEN Ten Sorrowful Mysteries (Creeping Bent) 0000
Was it VS Naipaul who advised young novelists to keep writing the same book again and again? Maybe it was JK Rowling. Whoever it was would approve of Monica Queen. The title of her first solo album Ten Sorrowful Mysteries could be completed with the words 'That Sound Very Similar' but then when you have struck upon a beguiling if slightly saccharine formula. why not stick to it?
Simple folk-tinged melodies delivered by Oueen's beautiful. on- the-cusp-of-coming voice accompanied by Johnny Smillie's superbly haunting electronica make for a truly original SOLJHU. Like The Sunday's CiaSSIC Reading
Writing And Arithmetic. it can feel like being slowly pasted to the wall by an indie chick armed with a brush and some sugary solution. But there's no crime in that. is there? (Tim Abrahams)
THE HECTOR COLLECTORS Straight Outta Comprehensive (Jam Jar) 000
album from Glasgow's Smith brothers. there's a wickedly unprofessional afterthought of a secret track. That's nothing unusual: remember the caned busk at the end of The Second Coming? In this case. though. the whole album's like this.
Straight Outta Comprehensive has the production values of a Channel 5 Erotumentary. although with considerably more charm. Sprinkled among the bum notes. the crackles and the inadvertent cackles. there's some hilarious lyrics (‘I feel like the Two Live Crew/ Watching EuroBlue Review') and chirpy tunes. and while this release is far from substantial it's pretty damn entertaining. (James Smart)
HORACE SILVER In Pursuit Of The 27th Man (Blue Note)
The Rudy Van Gelder edition of remastered reissues brings this long deleted album from 1972 back into the catalogue. Conventional wisdom declares that Horace Silver peaked somewhere around 1965. and his subsequent Blue Note albums have tended to be consigned to the dump bin of history. As with the earlier You
At the end of this debut
Gotta Have A Little Love
from 1968 (another candidate for the RVG
treatment?) that is an overly harsh judgement
on some fine music. with E
Silver‘s distinctively funky. blues-rooted stamp all over it.
The pianist leads a trio. with Michael and Randy Brecker added on three
outs. and vibist David
Friedman on four others. Maybe not essential Silver. but w0rth hearing. (Kenny Mathieson)
Start With A Strong And Persistent Desire (Virgin) COO.
It's been a while since the UK produced a band like Vex Red: sharp. passionate and astute. and this debut release is an extraordinary start to their career. 'Dermo' sees a sorrow-filled soundscape explode into a venomous guitar frenzy. ‘Can't Smile' is a darkly raging revelation and the spine tingling
‘ ‘itch' all show that ober-
producer Ross Robinson has made magic out of
Vex Red are no average metal band: they have the ability to make brash and beautiful music. and offer an intelligence that is so sorely lacking from their US contemp- oraries. Finally a rock band is giving us all something to think about. (Camilla Pia)
VARIOUS ARTISTS Subliminal Sessions Vol 2 (mixed by Harry ‘Choo Choo' Romero) (Subliminal) COO Romero's been gathering quite a reputation for himself over the last few years as one of the new wave of US producers and DJs. though whether true superstardom beckons is another matter. He's got the dinky beard and the silly name. and this tOugh mix draws upon his
iv -.,idg;“-.r..s' 1.3,:
mates' records (Erick
Morillo and Jose Nunez . are well represented) and the odd vocal
snippet to create a
salacious. hook-laden double album.
As occasionally happens with these things. the set is
; recorded as a single
track. meaning that you have to plough through some chuff to get to the good numbers. but there's some top notch filthy house on display here. (James Smart)
TIM ROSE American Son (Mystict 0... Tim Rose is the man who penned the greatest rock tune of all time. 'Hey Joe'. and like all great troubadOurs he
has lived a turbulent life
often relying on crap jobs to get him through the lean years. Unlike Tim Buckley and Tim Hardin to whom he is directly comparable he's still alive and going through something of a revival with endorsements from the likes of Nick Cave and Robert Plant.
'l iiii “IN‘
liiii-rii illl \iiil f.
Recorded in Norway
‘ with a fantastic backing
band this is definitive stuff that shows the old boy can still hold and write a tune better than just about anyone out there. The glorious ‘Because You're Rich' and ‘Once He Was' in partiCUIar will blow you away. (Paul Dale)
LOUNGECORE. EASY LISTENING
EASY ACCESS ORCHESTRA The Affair
(Irma Records,» 0000
Sometime percu- ssionists with The Herbaliser. Ralph Lamb
and Andy Ross are