PUNK MCLUSKY Mclusky Do Dallas (too pure) .0.

God bless Steve Albini and his interest in British punk bands. After gracing local boys Senator with his gifts. Albini threatens to haul up a bunch of sarky Welshmen by their bootstraps. In doing so. he gives each tune a barb lacking in those on lvchusky's debut My Pain And Sadness Are Sadder And More Painful Than Yours.

Conversely however. the colours previously at the warmer end of McLusky's musical spectrum have been lost as they refract through Albini's production prism and you wOuld have to sack the whole band before you could stop them scunding like The Pixies. Tunes like 'To Hell With Good IntentiOns' however. feature some of the best lyrics that will be written all year barked out of a beautifully bruising bassline. ‘When we gonna to tOrch the restaurant?‘ they enquire. “When we gonna paint the guide dogs?'. Two Questions that l have yet to hear satisfactorily answered. (Tim Abrahams)


You Don‘t Need Darkness To Do What You Think Is Right (Geographici 00.00

Geographic is still a tottering infant in the industry world. but one look at the t-zxclusrve track—listing of this monumental compilation will reveal what an impresswe jOi) its done of capturing insanely good artists.

Two roughly-divided parallel streams are apparent on Geographies roster: the straight-upbeat charmers such as stalwart smile-maker Future Pilot AKA. International Airport and label bosses The Pastels

themselves: and the slow-burning. acoustic wonders of almost profound Quality - take your pick from Nagisa Ni te. Empress. National Park and the majestic Appendix Out. Throw in some mesmerising wild cards from Bill Wells. Barbara Morgenstern and Kevin Shields and you have one absolutely essential purchase.

(Jan F Zeschky)

FOLK ROCK DONNIE MUNRO Across The City And The World (Hypertension) 00

Ah. the voice of Runrig returns. Celtic heartbreaker for the over-forties. and Chris de Burgh's Gaelic- speaking crud brother. Munro's latest offering starts competently enough with the mid- tempo accordion romp Sweetness On The Wind' but it's getting dicey by gut—wrenching ballad “She Knows Love' and alas the 803 gurtar licks of 'Amazon‘ push things too far.

Donnie may crank it up jig style on ‘Highland Heart'. but only the most intrepid and masochistic listener will still be tuned in. This is easy listening Scottish style. inspired by the rugged landscape of Skye and certainly enough to send you screaming to the hills. iCamilla Pia)


Stephin Merritt Eban And Charley Original SOundtraCk (Sketchbook) Mr Magnetic Fields Supplies a SOundtrack of quirky classic pop to the social drama. Motorhead Hammered (Koch) The warty warrior Lemmy continues to crank out the boozy. blues rock. Aurora Aurora (EA/ll) A debut album of trance- lite pop from this trio chart assaulters. Various Artists Crash: The Original Underground Sowid Of London (Southeast) A hefty double CD collection in celebration of the quality house night dahn saff.

Five Point O Uri/titled (Roadrunner) The top metal label premiere their latest rock/rap acquisition form the US.

108 THE LIST 28 Mar—1 1 Apr 2002

’1" 3“ r M

A variety of environment

s matched only by the detail Two words are sufficient to sum up Halo, the premier Xbox launch title. Simply stunning. That’s it. From the moment the welcome screen appears, through the slick menus and non- existent loading times, to the guts of the game itself, Halo is simply stunning. This is true next- generation gaming.

Tying down what makes it so special is not such a simple task. Every page of this humble listings magazine could be filled with Halo’s virtues and still fall short of the experience that playing even the first few minutes of this game bfings.

The first thing that catches the breath is the music. Soaring orchestral sweeps merge into staccato percussion, guiding you through every dramatic moment. At heart this may be a first person shooter involving a lone warrior pitting his wits against an evil alien force, but the storytelling is so beautifully paced that these dramatic moments never fail to get the heart pounding. Accompanying the music are some of the finest sound effects any game has produced. From the rattle of gunfire to fellow soldiers apologising for accidentally shooting a comrade, nothing sounds strange.

Then there are the visuals. The variety of environment is matched only by the detail. No dull plains or boring corridors here. Fantastic lighting and believable textures draw you further into Halo. The non-player Al is also impressive, with aliens warning their friends of your approach or hiding when injured, while your back up infantry feels only too fallible.

And there is more. The restrictions of only carrying two weapons, exchangeable with any other dropped by a foe, the driving sections, the multitude of strategies, the comic touches, the instinctive control method, the range of mission objectives, everything adds to a unique gaming event that should not be missed. As you may have gathered by now, Halo is simply stunning. (lain Davidson)

GAME BOY ADVANCE Sun a mixture of

GOLDEN SUN episodes VII and VIII Ill (N'mendol 924-99 miniature. For everyone 000.

else. Golden Sun is a role playing game that takes your motley band of world—savers across a large continent. constantly gaining experience in combat and magic. while dark forces do their best to thwart you.

Played in top-down two dimensions. the graphics are great for a handheld. packed with

For those who are familiar with the Final

Fantasy series. Golden

character. and really help bond the player with their little warriors. The combat is relentless and thanks to a mix-and- match magic system. evolves thr0ughout yOur quest. Golden Sun packs all the attributes of a fine RPG into an efficient and effective gobbler of your time. And the ability to save at any point means that even the shortest bus ride need never be boring again.


PROJECT GOTI-IAM RACING (Microsoft) £44.99 0...

Metropolis Street Pacer on the Dreamcast re- invented the racing genre. lts revolutionary Kudos system. where cool driving meant more than fast driving, made for an infectious speed- fest that demanded replay after replay. MSFi's new Xbox update. Project Gotham Racing, is faster. slicker and a whole lot more pleasing on the eye. Yet at its heart this is still the same game. wrth inch perfect power sliding and overtaking earning you those all- important Kudos points that open up further tracks and cars.

The handling of each car is different yet satisfying and the ability to play your own music while screaming round the street courses is an amusing t0uch. However it is not

, perfect with each

course feeling a little empty and while there are enough tracks to race. car choice is a

little limited. A solid title with a still-novel twist. Project Gotham Racing bodes well for the future of Xbox racing games.

PS2 HERDY GERDY (Eidos) £39.99 0000

Surprises are few and far between in the gaming arena. While hardware producers strive for innovation and invention. the software available to run on their systems is almost entirely derivative. So we should be grateful for little gems such as Herdy Gerdy. a game that dares to do something different.

As the name Suggests. the pomt of Herdy Gerdy is herding. Over many levels. various fantastical animals reguire you to learn different herding strategies. from simple chasing to amusmg Pied Piper musical enticement. if you are to become a world-beating shepherd.

Portrayed in the third person. this is a technically accomplished title. with the wide-ranging c0untryside teaming with wildlife. while the cartoon colours and characterisation please the eye. It is not as addictive as it should have been but. for inventing the herd-em- up genre. Herdy Gerdy deserves a large pat on the back. (lain Davidson)

ALSO RELEASED Tiger Woods PGA 2002 /PC EA $29.99) Swinging Tiger, Licence Drags on. Worms Blast (PC

Team 7 7 £24.99) Nematode nonsense. Jedi Knight II (PC ACl/VlS/Oll €29.99) Kenobi is to love me.

Rangers Football Coach (PC Akae/ €29.99) Are yOu Alex MCLeish?

Celtic Football Coach (PC Akae/ £729.99) Are yOu Martin O'Neiil'?

w u see: * ~ ..

Herdy Gerdy