PRESTON REED Metal
(Outer Bridge) 0..
American guitarist Preston Reed has impressed a lot of listeners since he settled in Scotland. not least With his last CD. the dazzling Handwritten Notes. This latest disc is actually a newly remastered version of an album originally released in the USA in 1.995. but never available here.
It features a number of tunes which are still in his repertOire. and if he has developed his remarkable percussive hammering-on techniques even more fully in the intervening years. it is still a jaw- dropping demonstration of his prowess. and the next best thing to actually catching him live. where the visual element of his playing adds an extra dimenSion to the experience.
ROCK RUSH Vapor Trails iAtiantici 0
Bush were never. ever cool: fact. Even in these rc-iativeiy prog-frlendly times — where the likes of Pink Floyd and King Crimson get namecnecked by ll‘Gll‘DGTS of weird indie bands — Bush continue to be a pariah of the muse '.'.'orld And on this shorting it's no wonder. l/apor Trails is a relentiessiy tedious rec0rd. and it rocks with all the pompous sterility of a geriatric Canadian version of Rockschool. only much. much worse. Even more disastrously. they appear to be attempting to inject some funk into their bland space rock. With awesomely poor re8ults. Avoid at all costs. Doug Johnstonei
GORILLAZ Laika Come Home: Space Monkeyz v Gorrilaz iPar‘ophoiiei 00.
for this dub re-workiiig
of the Gorilla? 2001 debut. tremulous production trio the Space Monkeys tangle the originals up in bass thick as molasses. stripping them of any force or direction they may have once possessed.
Many are unrecognisable: ‘Punk' is appropriately de-punked while ‘SNA' and ‘Tomorrow Comes Today' are mere
shadows of their former selves as Albarn and co's featherweight hip hop skanks reconvened as heavyweight spaced-out thumpers.
Much of this relies on atmosphere rather than attention grabbing hooks and the overlying feeling is one of woozy interstellar overdrive. which can get wearing in places.
This isn't bad but is so specific (unlike the fluttery magpie original) that it Will find a home in the hearts of only the most l‘iroad-minded of Albarn-ites.
NEW FOUND GLORY
Sticks and Stones (Universal) .000
US SCrag tags New Found Glory live in a land where Dawson '3 Creek and The Breakfast Club are actually documentaries and they speCialise in setindtracking these with Grease gone grunge paens to Summer lovin' and just how fast it does or doesn't happen.
The Lemonheads and Hiisker Du are the spiritual godparents and Green Day are the Surly older brothers of this quintet who essentially are as melodic as Britney and as dangerous as yoghurt. all boybaiid
harmonies over Buzzcocks guitars. This isn't new but is still oddly endearing and adrenalised. And anyway. l like Dawson 's Creek. (Mark Robertson)
BOOTLEGS VARIOUS ARTISTS
The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever. . . (No label) 000.
the best bootlegs in the world even.
There is a fine line between genius (Christina meets the Strokes) and one-joke gimICry (Nelly getting jiggy to the Grange Hill theme) and this compilation of some of the most comical (if not ingeniouSi and eclectic bootlegs of the last eighteen months is testament to that.
Sugababes chart assaulting ‘Freek Like Me' is here and is only the tip of the soundclash iceberg. Witness the Stooges wrestling Salt 'n' Pepa. Depeche Mode getting frisky With Eminent. and Destinys Child getting it on with . . . weil. everyone. hing oots that they are.
Most are sure-fire guaranteed to drive any dancefloor mental but a couple wear thin once the joke. A joke may only now be getting tired but was damn fine fun while it lasted.
Ed Case Guest List (Columbia/UK garage demon gets frisky on his debut album.
DJ Tiesto In My Memory (Virgin) Chart bothering trance maestro gets epic With a double debut- platter.
Jadell How do / do? (Illicit) Smart but casual hip hop from prolific UK beat Juggler.
The Kennendy Soundtrack A Tale of two Cities (Instant Karma) A seemingly DickenSian take on emo rock from English newcomers.
Tift Merritt Bramble Rose (Lost Highway) New collection of soft-as-silk new country from US charmer.
Morrowind: out of the shadows of geekery
ELDER SOROLLS III: MORROWIND (Ubisoft) £29.99
When the Bard ’s Tale series first stumbled onto home computers in the 80s it shook up the role-playing market. Looking through the eyes of the hero was revolutionary and made what was seen as a genre for geeks accessible to all. Today Morrow/rid tries to keep that first person dream alive.
But with the likes of Baldur Gate and Dungeon Siege appealing to the masses. the confusing control. combat intricaCIes and ovenrvhelming depth of Morrow/rid conspire to drag it back into the shadows of geekery. Graphically it is average. but the constantly changing scenery certainly evokes that otherworldly feeling. while the voice acting is not as painful as most.
if you have the patience. a nicely crafted story evolves alongSide your multi-tasking character with the hours. and soon the days. of gameplay flying in.
Just don‘t expect to have a welcoming. easy ride of it.
PS2 DEUS EX (Eidos) £39.99 0000
So the best First Person Shooter since Half Life comes to the PS2 With all its multi-paths. role playing elements and big
guns intact. But does the glory of its conspiratorial stery and evoIVing combat system really emerge through a television and a joypad’?
Well. for the most part the answer is yes. It is still dark and mysterious. the cyberpunk storyline successfully drives exploration and deVising solutions to moderately freeform problems still catches the imagination.
But if you have played Deus Ex before. chances are you will recognise every inch of this version and learning to play with the clumsier joypad will only make you yearn to go back to the PC. But if this is you first experience of Deus Ex. prepare yourself for a beautifully paced adventure in the near future.
PS’Z F1 2002 (EA) £39.99 0000
Can yOu be the only person to challenge the Ferrari domination of the current Fl (:haiixpionship? It's time to find out as Electronic Arts releases its annual version of the roar-in- Circles sport.
As you would expect. the graphics are slightly better than last year. the cars spOrt their new livery and all the learns are present. The
handling is fluid. the tracks exact and everything works penecﬂy
To persuade those who have last year's verSion to part With the reddies. the game now boasts some very enjoyable driving challenges. Each team poses a problem. it may be some cornering under the stopwatch or beating a pitstop time. with the now ubiquitous EA card waiting as a prize. Obviously. if Fl lS not your thing then the authentiCity in F7 2002 will mean nothing and the unique pace and handling may leave yOu cold. Fl fans will love it.
XBOX SPIDER-MAN (Activision) £39.99 .0
As is the norm these days. a big movie release is complemented by its very own computer game and Spider-Man is no exception. But it is dOubtful if even the webslinger himself. instant reflexes. legendary dexterity and all. could gain much joy from this clumsy third person action adventure.
The problem is the camera system. Actually it is more than a problem. it is a shot in the head for What ceiild have been an enjoyable romp. It seems to point at the scenery rather than Spidey. meaning you must continually position it manually. often when you are trying to control the main character. To say this is confusing. disorientating and very. very irritating would be to understate the pOiiit. Who cares abOuI the great voice acting. decent graphics and inventive web-based fun when you cannot control any of it? Shame.
Bad camera wastes Marvel’s favourite photographer
91‘. Jun .1
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