METAL MURDERDOLLS Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls (Roadrunner) 000
STONE SOUR Stone Sour (Roadrunner) 000
There were always two sides to the Slipknot coin: the freak-out. comedy horror show and their sheer depth of alienation and vitriol. Now we have the first (unmasked) side projects and they tackle both flavours the mighty ‘Knot has to offer.
Murderdolls formed by drummer Joey Jordison. who moves to guitar. and his horror glam explosion. Tracks like ‘Love at First Fright' and ‘She was a Teenage Zombie' sum up its spirit and swagger. lt reeks of drive in movies. zombie flicks. the Cramps. MOtley Crue. glitter and bad make-up.
While Stone Sour from vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root takes the moral high ground. A serious dirge of gloom and despair. and there's even a ballad. However it feel just a little bit werthy. it so desperately wants to be taken seriously. Neither are shite. nor great for that matter, just different to the beast that spawned them and therefore lacking that vital element that makes Slipknot work so well.
ELECTRONICA MAX TUNDRA Mastered by Guy at the Exchange (Domino) 0000
Ludicrously enjoyable album from Ben Jacobs. the brain and voice behind Max Tundra. Jacobs is clearly a formidable electronic artist and programmer but he is also a few
snacks short of the Bar- B mate. 'Merman' opens this Tundra’s second album with a brassy immediacy but structural weirdness soon creeps in to ‘Cabasa'. ‘Pocket' and ‘MBGATE’.
This is pop and more significantly UK swing garage subverted into a kamikazi mission. The hilarious jewel of the album is ‘Lights'. a Craig David piss-take that details an employment history littered with
- missed opportunities. ' Bizarre and bonkers.
Buy it. (Paul Dale)
INDIE POP SPOON
Kill the Moonlight (12XU) one
After the genius of last year's Girls Can Te//. vastly-underrated Texan foursome Spoon return with an edgier. more experimental record. but one that still pushes all the right buttons. Main man Britt Daniels has an unswerving dedication to classic. simple songwriting. and the buckets of charisma needed to pull it off. while the tunes here eschew the band's previous guitar-driven riffage in exchange for weirder. more insidious routes to your heart. Piano and percussion to the fore. songs like “Jonathon Fisk' and ‘The Way We Get By' are as good as any shiny pop pap. while simultaneously having real depth and bite. (Doug Johnstone)
AFROBEAT KOKOLO Fuss and Fight
Kokolo represent the burgeoning afrobeat scene in New York. and their sound is about as real as it comes. Propagating militant unity. they break down class and race boundaries in an attempt to get down to the real business of rocking out.
The musical reference points are salsa. funk, hip hop. reggae. ska and even hardcore. and it is precisely this diversity that gives strength to the Kokolo ideal. The collective thrives on diversity. and the diffuse nature of the band's constituent parts is somehow the key to
_ its coherence. Lazy
trumpets sway over subdued tribal beats. and often. the album's most effective messages
I are conveyed through instrumental work rather
than the spoken word.
The King of Nothing Hill
Barry Adamson should
g have taken advice from i the equivalent of a
careers officer at Mute
Records who would
have taken him aside
and had a quiet word:
‘no Barry, you'll never be _ a singer-songwriter.
Stick to what you can do.‘ A weeping Adamson
would then have
scuttled away to knock up another album of languid instrumentals. and not this dire assembly line of cringeworthy at worst. and pedestrian at best. lyrical (bad) moods. When the first instrumental does kick in — track five. ‘The Second Stain' — it comes as a relief rather than some continuance of cool. Back to the drawing- board. Baz.
Man Mountain (XL/Memphis Industries) 0...
As with slow-burning first
T album Nothing Changes
Under the Sun. Man Mountain has a grandiose lustre that glistens in the late afternoon sun of its
sepia tinted. cinematic . grooves. The addition of
Ty Bulmer's soprano
voice brings a pop edge
to the formerly instrumentals-only outfit
? and Man Mountain
touches a nerve similar
to Lemon Jelly and Air.
Except Blue States are
wandering in a long- forgotten land where ‘ Sergio Leone and John
Barry are both king and the lonesome cowboy
has found someone to
share his ranch. If there
i were any justice in the
world. the Blue States
somdtrack w0uld be
i playing in all the best
theatres. Charms like
these are so hard to find.
24 leaves Bedtime in its wake
DRAMA BEDTIME BBC1, Mon 26 Aug, 10.30pm 000 There's something rather poignant about the fate of this high-concept drama series. Challenged to come up with a show set in ‘real time’. American television produces 24. an innovative thriller. complete with car chases. cliff-hanger endings and counter terrorism. Result: global hit.
Meanwhile the BBC brings forth Bedtime. a peak into the twilight rituals of three families. calls it ‘innovative' and dumps it at the arse-end of the schedule. Admittedly. they've roped in some real acting muscle. including Timothy West as a fusspot. Sheila Hancock playing his patient wife and Kevin McNally as a writer struggling with his commitment to Doon Mackichan, with the most moving relationship depicted being between worried single father Alun Armstrong and his son.
The programme is intermittently engaging. but. like all soapy dramas. the situations and the script are somewhat banal, while the confined setting rather hampers its dramatic impact.
YOU ASKIN’? I’M DANCIN’?
Channel 4. Mon 26 Aug, 9pm .00
Apparently. at the Channel 4 nightly disco there is a not-so-secret
dance craze going
down called ‘the
, scraping of the barrel‘. 2 Basically you get a
bunch of ex-Edinburgh
Fringe comedy hopefuls: give them 90 minutes
and a topic that preferably involves rampant nostalgia. then you sit back and watch them gum like fools.
So here is the history of the dance craze told in five handy chunks over an hour and a half by ex-l 1 O'C/ock Show and current My Worst Week presenter lain Lee and selected friends (comedians Mackenzie
= Crook. Jenny Eclair and . Omid Djalili plus Tony
; Hadley. Judge Jules
and. of course. Miss
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson). This is actually pretty
An opera that’s frank a
enjoyable. touching on .I everything from the tango to the macarena with some fairly amusing old footage of 'Agadoo'. those kids from Fame ; and the poor sods
involved in a musical virus called ‘The Birdy ! Song'. Mr Lee holds 3 things together well with
a certain John Cleese-
like disdain. (Paul Dale)
DRAMA WHEN SHE DIED i Channel 4, Sun 25 Aug, 9pm nee
Life may well be too short. but it's actually worth taping this confusing little opera- drama and watching it again. With a repeated viewing, the subtle acting and languid musical shifts make more sense and allow their sinister undercurrents to cut , deeper. And. if you listen i closely enough second time around you may
hear some of the lyrics. ' which appear swamped.
Set at the time of i Diana Spencer's last trip ‘ in Paris and 3 interspersed with film of her life and footage of her funeral. the action revolves around four sets of individuals for whom the real and symbolic life of Di has . become central to their own being. A middle- aged couple. a mourning young mother. a wise old tramp (Willard White) and a scarin obsessive loner are so hugely affected that the pilgrimage to Kensington Palace becomes a personal mission.
Here‘s a thing: the 50min drama comes with a warning of scenes containing “nudity and religious ritual‘. How hyper- sensitive can the blonde one's grieving fans actually be?
22 Aug ‘5 Sci) 2(102 THE LIST 1 17