Golf rocks. So with the Open in town this weekend, let '3 see who the big hitters are amongst this fortnight's singles. First up. the local sclaffers. Aberdonian nippers Nero start things off nicely with ‘A Good Smack In The Mouth EP’ (Lithium 000 ), a blistering drive 250 pop-yards straight down the punk fain/vay. Meanwhile Barrichello's ‘Down Soft’ (SL 000 ) is a gentler three iron off the tee of twee pop. but equally as direct and entertaining, while Draw's ‘Silver Screen’ (Empire 0. ) is professional in its attitude on the course but sadly lacking in inspiration around the indie-rock greens.
Babacool seem a little confused about club selection on their ‘A Fistful of Baba EP' (demo .0 ). as they dither between smacking a Death in Vegas drive or murdering a Massive Attack mashie into orbit. More high-tech are Swimmer One, whose ‘We just make Music for Ourselves' (Biphonic COO ) is a middle- range cleek shot of electro-pop etiquette and gentle dance gamesmanship.
Right, let‘s look at the touring pros. ‘Ghosts' (Credence .0 ) by Dirty Vegas is monotonous. driving-range. dance-lite dullness which has no bite or backspin, while ‘Colourblind' (Mercury 00 ) sees Darius thrashing around in the deep pop rough desperately searching for credibility. a decent tune and his ball.
Archive's ‘Men Like You' (Hangman COO ) plays a scuzzy game. punching lo-fi. daisy- cutting shots into a Stooges headwind before pitching up nicely up front of a drone-rock bunker. ‘Audio Bullys EP' (Source 0... ) by Audio Bullys. however, is a successful niblick out of a nasty UK garage lie on to the lip of an unlikely ska-inflected green.
Old-timers Def Leppard pull on the plus fours one more time with ‘Now' (Mercury 0 ). although it's such a wayward tee shot — hooked badly into the woods of duff metal despair — that they really shouldn't have bothered. Hang up your putters. lads. Similar advice goes to Jamiroquai and Toploader, whose ‘Corner Of The Earth' (Sony ) and ‘Time Of My Life’ (Sony ) respectively are two terrible. shanked drives straight into the heavily-manured field of piss- poor pop platitudes.
Which all leaves the fairway clear for Doves’ ‘Pounding' (Heavenly COCO ) to win the Tiger Woods of the Week tin cup. A sweetly-struck gem of a drive. it positively fizzes off the indie club-face. soars effortlessly into the heavens of uplifting rock before landing with a gentle thud six inches from a guitar-pop hole in one. ‘Fantasy golf' as Peter Alliss might say.
(Doug ‘Payne Stewart' Johnstone)
1 16 THE LIST 18 Jul-l Aug 2002
Blue Country Heart (Columbia) 0000
Former Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna
. guitarist Jorma
Kaukonen returns to his earliest musical love. the classic blues. country and bluegrass tunes which make up this fine album.
He began by sifting through a stack of songs from what he rightly sees as the roots of American music. finally paring it down to the 13 tracks included here. He is not the greatest singer around. but his guitar playing is still top notch. and he has surrounded himself with an A-list band of Nashville cats. featuring Sam Bush. Jerry Douglas. Byron House and Bela Fleck. The outcome is some mighty satisfying picking. (Kenny Mathieson)
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
By the Way (Warner) 0000.
You may know them for their inimitany frenzied funk rock but this hugely anticipated new release shows there's much more to Keidis and co than jocks and socks. An altogether more mellow record. By the Way may not be as
instantly accessible as
past efforts. but closer inspection into the sun- kissed choruses proves rewarding.
'Universally Speaking' is an exquisite ballad sent sky-high by a string backed sublime chorus. ‘Throw Away your Television‘ showcases a typically sleek Flea bassline. and ‘Cabron' is magnificently flanked by flamenco guitars. RHCP
have evolved into a
spellbinding songwriting force and with this eighth release have made the most graceful
. and enduring record we - never knew they were
capable of. (Camilla Pia)
ELECTRONICA SYSTEM 7 AND DERRICK MAY
‘ Mysterious Traveller (A-Wave) 000
Two of the older statesmen of electronica
join forces for this i compilation of previous collaborations and
remixes of blissed out digital meanderings. OK. to say Derrick May has been in this game as
: long as System head
honcho Steve Hillage is a bit of an insult; remember this cat used to be in Gong (who practically invented the lysergic soundtrack). Chilled but dated as
' hell. and that May is
involved seems to make no difference to the furrow Hillage has been ploughing for many a moon. New age. hippy
inoffensive but hey man
we've heard this dope
many times before. (Henry Northmore)
POP THE FLAMING LIPS
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner)
THE FLAMING LIPS
s~ " .l
Firstly: this is not as
good as 1999's The Soft Bulletin. But for that. it
would have to be one of
the records of the
decade. Secondly: it’s
still a sometimes
awesome album. and
the kind of record other so-called alternative
bands can only have wet . dreams about.
An expansive. delicate.
. modern psychedelic pop trip, Yoshimi... sees
Wayne Coyne and
bandmates reaching i further out into a strange musical galaxy of
squelches and rumbles
while still maintaining
their unique pop sense
and wonderful ability to
mix intelligent underlying ideas with a purely
: entertaining surface. On . this evidence. The
Flaming Lips are still a band to treasure. (Doug Johnstone)
JAZZ LAZY AFTERNOON
Live at the Jamboree (Fresh Sounds New
g Talent) 0..
Pianist Ethan Iverson will . be heard in more fiery
contexts at the jazz
; festival, but is captured
: here in relaxed mood
with three other
7 temporarily restrained firebrands from the New
York jazz scene.
Cheek. bassist Ben
: Street and drummer Jorge Rossy.
They explore another facet of their musical talents in this ballad session drawn from the standard repertoire. recorded live at the Jamboree Club in
L Barcelona. They resist
the temptation to apply the deconstructive principles they use
elsewhere on standards.
and the readings of
familiar tunes like
‘Stardust'. ‘Lover' and
j ‘These Foolish Things'
are simultaneously respectful and engagingly fresh. (Kenny Mathieson)
ROCK‘N'ROLL/POP THE CORAL
The Coral (Deltasonic) 0...
Forget the Current deluge of dispensable garage thrash. true rock'n'roll is the
. accidental meeting of j chaos and cacophony j and it sounds just like the Coral. This
. extraordinary collection
of eerie. othenivorldly
pop is blessed with Soul. 3 heavily doused in ; romance and all the
energetic innovation you'll ever need. “Simon
Diamond' is pure Pet
Sounds meets Super
Furries and soothes
before “Skeleton Key‘ frantically zigzags through shouty ska.
wobbly guitars and
xylophones. The Coral's music is awash with
influences: lovelorn choruses burst out of nowhere and ease the storm of mad-hatter mish-mash that surround them. It's the exquisite sound of galaxies away. (Camilla Pia)
INDIE BEN KWELLER Sha Sha (679) 0000
Last seen on these shores supporting Evan Dando. Ben Kweller (once a member of teen punk One-hit wonders Radish. fact fans) showed in a shon live set that he's a monster- sized precocious musical talent. and this debut solo album confirms that talent big time.
FOr a twenty-year-old. this is remarkably a88ured music. yet it still bOunces and kicks along with daft. b0yish energy and pure wide- eyed wonder. Eclecticism is the key w0rd here. with everything from old- skool indie to country. power pop. ballads and feisty alternative punk on Show throughout a warm. intelligent and immensely likeable record. (Doug Johnstone)
,3‘ ' q” i
David Gedge has a way with the ladies. Whether it stems from his confessional wordcraft or ability to capture an event perfectly and turn it into sweeping cinematic pop. it always makes for compelling listening. However, Torino. finds Gedge in dark times. exploring obsessive love and deceit to sweeping strings and raging guitars. Tension builds