Scottish Symphony Orchestra is a beauty. full of passion but
The features two more highly charged works from around the same period. The Exorcism of Rio Sumpu/ and Tuireadh. his response to the Piper Alpha disaster. with Martin Frost as clarinet soloist. (Kenny Mathieson)
~ ' . I ~ '1 ’ , I . Let's start off with the best. Single of the Fortnight goes to 50-legged psychedelic cult The Polyphonic Spree who are a superb piece of daftness in a dull old music world. ‘Hanging Around’ (679 00.0 ) is three minutes of Flaming Lips gone gospel, and it's more Beach Boys than a party in Brian Wilson's
Shaggy. despite what his mother may tell him, is not ‘sexy' and the horrific Mariachi pop pish of ‘Hey Sexy Lady' (MCA evidence. The dross factor is equally high for Blue’s sickly 'One Love' (Virgin O bigs up Mother's Pride bread in possibly the most unstreet song ever.
Luckily Raging Speedhorn are here to stick their horns up Blue's ass. 'Fuck the Voodooman' (ZTT 00. metal and almost emerges out the other end of dumb to be brilliant. Almost.
Where they fail. Finnish garage goons Sweatmaster succeed. Cos their ‘I am a Demon and I Love Rock 'n‘ Roll' EP (Must Destroy COCO ) is an amusing and explosive blast of riffs and clatter.
Equally engaging are local noise muppets The Silver Pill. ‘The Martian Chronicles' EP (Amity 0000 ) displays an inventive array of tunesmithery. from the melodious indie of the title track to the excellent disco-punk of ‘Pulse’.
Two more local noiseniks — Mercury Tilt Swith and Yakuza — pitch up on an untitled split single (1970 .0. the Fugazi Award for Melody with Bollocks and Yakuza taking the Sonic Youth Noisefest gong
Hahahaha. Fuck me. Sorry, I just heard John Squire's debut solo single. ‘Joe Louis' (North ), which is the worst record ever made. Well done. John. Awesome. Sounds a bit like an acid-fried Jethro Tull. Or the Wurzels. maybe. Only serious. Ho ho. what an excellent way to finish. Cheers John, you twat. (Doug Johnstone)
ADD N TO (X) Loud Like Nature (Mute) OOOO
Hilariotis art-rock weirdoes Ann Shenton. Barry 7 and Steve Claydon return with their f0urth album. And. though there is nothing here that Quite matches the infectious riffs of Metal Fingers in my Body. fans should not
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108 THE LIST 1/ (it Oct 900?
The gut-wrenching analogue bass lines have not disappeared. the vintage SOund effects are all present and correct and the overall sound is madder than ever. A glorious romp through gobby punk, noisy electro. oddball hip hop. abrasive rock'n'roll and Surreal ambient. when they finally take Loud Like Nature out on tour the reSulting freak-show promises to be a sight for extremely sore eyes. Definitely their best collection to date. (Andrew Richardson)
Comfort in Sound (Echo) OOOO
Jon Lee will be sorely missed. but it's an emotional and tragic part of their past that Feeder want to consign to history. This is a new chapter for Grant Nicholas and Taka Hirose. joined by ex- Skunk Anansie drummer Mark Richardson. and from it comes their strongest. most enduring and beautiful release to date.
Gone is the easy on the ears. sterile guitar pop of Echo Park and in its place a stunning set of comeback tracks. subtle and raw in places. heavy and grand in others with Nicholas contributing his finest and most affecting vocals. From the addictive rock smash of single ‘Come Back Around'. through 'Godzilla's buzzing glam thrash and heart—rending anthem ‘Love Pollution'. this is a graceful storm of a record set to propel Feeder to the forefront of British rock. Perfectly epic. (Camilla Pia)
November (Vertical) 000
A crack squad of Scottish folk/fusion USLial suspects. Sunhoney have been making friends on the circuit for two years before this polished debut CD.
With folky melodies over bass and beat- heavy rhythms. this is broadly the territOry pioneered by the likes of the Peat Bog Faeries. dividing into instrumentals led by the assured jigs and reels of Aidan O'R0urke (of Blazin' Fiddles) and ja22ier songs carried by the engaging voice of Alyth McCormack. lt's beaut‘fully executed stuff. if maybe lacking that special something which w0uld make the album stand Out in a competitive field.
ROCK GLASSJAW Worship and Tribute (Warners) O...
That this quintet have been picked up by a major label and given the MTV push is a moot point — there was always going to be a freaks like this in the fall out of nu metal.
Freaks because Glassjaw have genuine depth and ingenuity about them. Uber- producer Ross Robinson has done for them what he did for the godlike At the Drive-In: he stripped them of extraneous fat and successfully harnessed their dynamic sonic energy.
They share a degree of disorientating unpredictability with ATD—l but inject glimmers of melody in their virulent, gargantuan
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sound. Clever rock music for the smart kid in class. Go find now. (Mark Robertson)
JAZZ JASON MORAN
Modernistic (Blue Note) 0000
Pianist Jason Moran takes on the challenge of a solo piano record. and covers a wide territory in the process. He successfully tackles everything from Robert Schumann to avant- garde jazzmen Andrew Hill and Richard Muhal Abrams by way of a striking reading of ‘Body and SOuI', stride piano giant James P Johnson's 'You‘ve Got to be Modernistic' and two versions of Afrika Bambaataa's “Planet Rock'. the first with layered effects. the second a distillation of its essence.
Moran stamps his creative presence on all of them. while his own compositions reveal his continued growth as a composer as well as a dazzling and original improviser.
DAVID GRAY New Day at Midnight (EastWest) 000
Despite being forever associated with soundtracking the Saturday night distribution of chocolate Viennetta onto IKEA flat pack tables in the ‘burbs. alongside Morcheeba and Toploader. David Gray is actually a great songwriter.
To follow the megalithic White Ladder he's stuck to the same. so- successful formula: occasional brittle electronica breaking up the acoustic melancholy. Often though it feels like
he's holding back making full use of his throaty wail, only coming close on ‘Knowhere'. He could have blown away people's preconceptions with this record but it's more of the same understated. almost undersold gems leaving us ultimately unsatisfied. (Mark Robertson)
JAZZ DAVID BINNEY
Balance (ACT) coco
Siegfried Loch's ACT Records celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. and has added saxophonist David Binney to its impressive list of discoveries. This is Binney's second disc for the label. and takes a different tack from his debut. South.
The feel of the record is more 'electric' than the earlier release. with Wayne Krantz's guitar and Uri Caine's piano and SynthS prominently featured alongside Binney's fiery. hi-energy alto and tenor saxophones. Tim Lefebvre and Jim Black make up a powerhouse rhythm section. A number of guest players also make contributions. notably tenor saxman Donny McCaslin. (Kenny Mathieson)
ROCK POP RICHARD ASHCROFT
Human Conditions (Hut) .00
Lets be honest. the reason your picking this up is because you loved the Verve. Just like when all your faVOurite bands Split and the inevitable solo projects appear (Brown. McCartney. Malkmus, etc).
Talvin Singh's input is a nice innovation, instantly noticeable from opener ‘Check the Meaning'. Not exactly groundbreaking but it summons up blissful Indian summers even with Ashcroft‘s northern drawl ever present. Lush orchestration and thoughtful melodies battle against cod- mysticism and a Sub- country cloud that hangs over much of it. But hey. anyone who can persuade Brian Wilson to provide backing vocals (‘Nature is the Law') deserves kudos. (Henry Northmore)