GRAPHIC NOVEL DEBBIE DRECHSLER
The Summer of Love (Drawn 8. Quarterly price tbcl O.
This handsome hardback binding collects Debbie Drechsler's story of a y0ung girl's sexual awakening. Originally published as the five part comic book series Nowhere. Set in a quiet American suburb in the late 1960s the stOry revolves around Lil and her mildly dysfunctional family: argumentative Siblings. embarrassing mother. distant father.
While her sister gets to know the local kids. Lil gets it on With a bOy named Steve who Visits her home to drop off his Jefferson Airplane album. Not long after that. Lil and Steve are up in a treehouse making out. and thereafter, life does not go smoothly for the new arrivals.
Nostalgia and paignancy are Drechsler's key ston/telling tools as she sketches in the pains of first love. broken friendships and strained family relations. Drechsler's artwork guite Suits this mode of tale telling. cartooning reminiscent of underground comix. rendered in green and brown tones. But The Summer of Love is badly let down by unconVinCing dialogue and weak narrative. ‘MIIBS Fielderi
SELF-HELP MANUAL DR GARY SMALL The Memory Bible iMichael Joseph $39.99) 0.
Do you have trouble remembering where yOu left yOur keys. people's names or the last chapter of a book yOu were reading? Well don't worry. you're just in early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Or at least that is what Dr Gary Small in The Memory Bib/e: The
44 THE LIST 1 8 Aug) 201.?
Ten Commandments for Keeping yet/r Bra/n Young would have us believe. It seems that every little memory lapse should be ringing big alarm bells heralding us On the way to a complete memory breakdown.
Fear not though, as help is at hand in. the shape of this University of California doc wrth a strategy to stave off the decaying of Our grey matter. Unfortunately. it's all very West Coast: chill out. eat well. take exercise and or anti- depressants if needs be.
Scientific talk of synapses is balanced With illustrative material featuring ‘baby boomers' who the book seems largely to be aimed at. There are a few interesting insights into the labyrinths of Our minds. but. er. sorry. I can't remember them. (Ruth Hedgest
URBAN DRAMA MATT THORNE Pictures of You (Phoenix €6.99) 00
While it's a relief to see Matt Thorne ditching his New Puritans' manifesto fOr fiction unfettered by rules. his latest novel retains the more unsa\/Otiry elements of earlier works. Set in the diaying world of men's mags. Pictures of You darts between editor Martin — 308. married. promiscuous. insecure — and his loyal. punctilious aSSIstant Alison as they negotiate 13 days in their young. sexy lives.
The lucid. chatty prose drives the narrative. yet the book lacks purpose. Wlth the endless scenes of partying and (0y!ess sex becoming quickly tedious. The tale culminates in Martin's search for a way off this hedonistic rollercoaster and the possibility of redemption with virtuous Alison. but. by then. you'll have long since ceased to care.
Thorne wants to be an English Jay Mclnerney. but lacks that author's sense of pathos. Moreover. for all the author's youth. the Characters are like a middle-aged ad man's vision of charmless twenty and thirtysonrethings. They're nothing more than the Doritos gang grown up. having acquired misogyny. self- loathing and xenophobia along the way.
MICHAEL BRACEWELL The Nineties: When Surface was Depth (Flamingo €12.99i
T HE NI NE TI E5 4 17'7"" r t: 5 Draper CE
Ever considered writing a thesis on Morrissey. or a somological dissertation on Ulrika Jonsson’? If so. you're a lost sOuI. and this could be the book for you. Michael Bracewell is the literary equivalent of an old Absolute/y sketch where the pug-faced one sat at a piano smueg singing. 'Clever. I'm terribly clever'.
And this book is a massively self-important and repetitive hotch- potch of gutf culled from various paper and magazine articles that somehow Singularly fails to tell you anything interesting about the 90s. and also attempts to make yOu feel very stupid and inferior to the author in the process. thank you very much.
The Nineties does tell you a fair amount ab0ut Bracewell's obseSSions though — Bowie. Roxy Musrc. Malcolm McDowell. Michael Caine — most of whom. of c0urse. had their heyday long before the 90s were a beil on the arsehole of the 20th century. Give me the NOughties any day. (Doug Johnstonel
THE VINES Highly Evolved iCapitoli 00
Sometimes the hype is Justified and sometimes it isn't. Nit/7E coverstars the Vines aren't a bad band. but this is far from a great album. Once you get past the ﬁne spiky. shreaky punk rock barrage of singles ‘Highly Evolved” and ‘Get Free'. their debut ends up SOunding deCIdedly anaemic. There's a few indentikit melancnoly strumaiongs for the AM rock fans to sway to and a ‘ew dull fillers to allow everyone to go to the bar. but when you get back the obvious question is ‘is thrs it?’ Sadly in this case. desp;te the bubbling throb of ‘Sunshinin", it is. (James Sll‘étrfl
El FCTRONICA ROCK PRIMAL SCREAM
Primal Scream would have us believe they are ROCK'N'ROLL but I'm not so sure anymore. They still talk the talk better than any but the music all seems too contrived to completely conVince. Evr/ Heat is a truly charmless and scliizot>lireriic record. For every hard rockin' motherfucker here there's a scrawny. under-fed kill-it-for-its- own-sake turkey pecking away at the back of the barn.
“Deep Hit of Morning Sun' is truly tremendous. SuiCide Wlth tablas and ketamine instead of 808s and speed and the two—note garage mantra that is 'Skull X' knows its Pebb/es from its stoners. Even when the songs aren't bad (Detroit.
very Scottish. Well-exeCLited. rehearsal-room-rough slices of angularity contend with DaVid Robertson's sensrtive but Knowing IyrICIsm throughout. That said. there's variety within the basic formula. ‘She's Gotta Hold on Me'. for example. resembles an unreleased demo of ElVlS Costello fronting the Undertones. while ‘What WOuld Your Daddy Say’?‘ emulates early Teenage
“Space Blues 321 they lack that special something that gave 2000's X T/t/tNTR an edge. Bob C may well be tearing up the global political system for arse paper with his lyrics but Kevin Shields has rendered him inaudible anyway. Style over substance.
F'RaORKGICDRIVE Fanclub in that it 80unds What.s The Beef? like the Beach Boys ,KFM, ... playing second down the
bill at La Belle Angele on a Tuesday night. It goes On for ages. but you really won't mind.
Not quite touched by genius. then. but certainly soaked in talent. (David Pollock)
Even though they've been on the go for ages. Edinburgh quartet Magicdrive have only JUSt got round to releaSIng this. their debut album. And it's
I BE DUN
“I... . . f l _ Musicians hate to be compared to other musicians. 'lt's lazy journalism.‘ they say. Fuck 'em. That's their problem, and they'd better not read this round-up then. The Kills' ‘Black Rooster EP' (Domino .0. ) is essentially a serial-killing White Stripes. while ‘The King and Queen of Style’ (Lithium COO ) by local noisenickers the Needles is Hives-like cartoon garage, only with bigger bollocks.
Fellow Scots the Hector Collectors are ludicrous. and their ‘Tantric New Romantic' (Press Hat and Cigar COO ) is Half Man Half Biscuit with dafter tunes, including an excellent one about Billy Sloan. ‘24/7’ (Instant Karma 0. ) by the Kennedy Soundtrack is limp rap-metal. making them a duff version of Papa Roach while. somewhat cyclically. Hell is for Heroes’ ‘I Can Climb Mountains' (Chrysalis O ) is an even duffer version of the Kennedy Soundtrack. We’re getting nowhere.
Alternative 3 aren’t helping. 'Download' (Floating World 0 ) is Jesus Jones on alcopops. while ‘Stux' (Boss 0 ) by Reuben is a less posturing Placebo with angst in its soiled pants. Gemma Hayes pitches in with 'Let a Good Thing (30' (Source 00 ) — tedious Coldplay-esque corporate indie.
Thank fuck then for Joint Singles of the Week, Max Tundra and Autechre. The former‘s ‘Lysine' (Domino O... ) sounds like Five Star savagely beating a photocopier with a drum machine while the Iatter's 'Gantz Graf' (Warp 000. ) sounds like the photocopier getting its own back. (Doug Johnstone)