from across the globe that harness a similar potential to Raphael's former proteges.

The overall melodic content of the record is good. but ironically it's the production that really lets things down. with good songs made to sound crude and

amateuristh fashioned.

And despite the exciting presence of

SOundtrak and Seattle band the Colour Twigs. this IS ultimately a very disappointing exercise. (Nick Dawson)


Occeanic (Ipeac) 0000

Rock is top ten fodder like never before: a good thing surely. And even if the crushing

Singles '

(Ephemera 0.

things to come.

the end.

Haze' (Zomba O.

In the week when John Lydon told the world that all he ever really wanted to be was Alice Cooper. there seems to be a lot of bands out there who just want to play with the Pistols. maaaaan: noticeably Kinesis with 'Billboard Beauty' (lndependiente CO the dumb but funny ‘Anglecised' (93 .0. ) and. best of all. ballboy. whose ‘Where Do the Nights of Sleep Go to When they Do Not Come to Me’ (SL records 0000 ) is pure class. managing to combine elements of punk with horns. the J Geils band and Big Country and still manages to be achingly beautiful. Norwegian songbirds Ephemera are the toast of Hollyweird (allegedly), but 'Close' ) as you may expect is so nice it hurts. Babacool are a formidable Edinburgh-based live funk/fusion band. their EP ‘A Fistful of Baba‘ (Babacool 000 do their live set justice but it does auger well for

). Lomax with

) may not

Athlete are basically Embrace on Ouaaludes and ‘Beautiful' (Infected COO. ) is another beauty with a great trash-thrash jam towards

This fortnight's walking dead are Space with some comic book filth called ‘Zombies' (Mutant 00 ) and Groove Armada with a zealous piece of rocking chair hip hop called ‘Purple

This fortnight’s dog soldiers are Looper with the Felt-like theatrics of ‘She's a Knife' (Mute om.) all diamonds and danger and Queens of the Stone Age with ‘No One Knows‘ (lnterscope com). who are currently so far ahead of the competition they may as well start flatting with the remaining members of Iron Butterfly. Both highly deserving of the title Single of the Fortnight. (Paul Dale)

1 16 THE LIST (31 Oct 11‘s Nov 200?.

dullness of Alien Ant Farm or Papa Roach makes you want to gouge y0ur own eyes out in despair there are a plethora of rock bands out there more than happy to steer far away from nu metal mediocrity.

Hence people Such as Isis. who like Cave In Dave Grohl's new favourite band hail from Boston and have delivered an album of expertly executed new rock. They have the obligatory megaton gunar riffs but entwine them With spectral. spooky Eno-isms and aquatic atmospherics which bring tension and relief that start/stop metal cliches once did. Challenging listening but tremendous all the same. (Mark Robertson)


Thinking About the Good Times (Zomba) COO

With wrnter girding its Ioms to give us a piss- poor next few months. we need a little sunshine in our lives. Any poor souls suffering from seasonal affective disorder should maybe think ab0ut getting some Reno on prescription. because this lazy. trippy, funky, soul record is all abOut putting smiles on faces. On songs like the Iaidback title track or the dreamy 'She was Flying‘. sloppy horns mix wuth retro beats. delicate strings and the odd ethereal female vocal line to create an album that feels like sand between your toes. smells of summer barbecues and tastes of strong margaritas. (Dotig Johnstone)



Live and Unreleased (Columbia/ Legacy) 0...


This much-delayed 2- CD set proves to be pretty much prime Weather Report. The performances are drawn from a range of concerts in the period of 1975—83. and feature five different versions of the band. all built around the central core of Joe Zawmul and Wayne Shorter. If that ineVItably gives a slightly piecemeal feel. the quality and approach is consistent with Weather Reports overall career curve. which dipped towards the end.

It won't tell you anything you didn't already know about their contribution to jazz-rock. but It is a worthwhile addition to the band's discography, which isn't top-heavy on live material.

(Kenny Mathiesonl


NICE MAN Sauchiehall and Hope (A Pop Opera) IShoeshine) coo

A veritable bastion of the Glasgow indie scene. Francis lvfacdonald has. throughout the years. dabbled with the BMX bandits and Eugenius. toyed with the Pastels and drummed for Teenage Fanclub. to name but a few.

Now. under the alter- ego Nice Man. he's unleashing a concept album. one that's as twee as you'd expect it to be. telling tales of falling in and Out of love on the streets of Glasgow city centre. Sultry instrumentals sit next to perky pop songs like 'Fa!lin' in Luv' and


“Mine All Mine' and country odes such as 'Your Hand in Mine‘. The spirit of Alex Chilton presides over all. but then it would. wouldn‘t it? (Catherine Bromley)


Independent Scottish label MRW44 deserves credit for its unstinting dedication to experimental music produced from these wind-ravaged lands. This second compilation of underground weirdness takes in everything from nihilistic electronica to blistering post-rock and acoustic. strummed melancholy. While the quality on display is inevitably patchy. and there's a tendency for self- indulgence from eejits with computers stuck in bedrooms. there is definitely plenty here of interest.

From the jagged rhythms of Hex and the more out—there Polaris to the Quietly plaintive March of Dimes. all are wonhy of mention. as are Milgram, who snag the Best Song Title Award for ‘France 5 Ecosse 0'.

(Doug Johnstone)

INDIE CRUISER Northern Electric (www.cruisernet) 0...

Typical. You spend ages scouring the world for intelligent. original. inspirational underground music. then you go and find some right on y0ur

freaking doorstep in Fife.

This debut album from a Cowdenbeath-based collective mixes dance sensibilities with indie rock. classical strings and a whole bunch of other influences to create something totally unique and utterly refreshing. With so much getting chucked into the pot. the album as a whole becomes a little unfocused at times.

but criticising bands for having too many ideas is like complaining that y0ur favourite restaurant has too much good food to choose from. A tasty starter.

(Doug Johnstone)


(V2) 0...

Brendan Bensonzswi. o

The privileged few who heard his 1996 debut One Mississippi will already know this: Detroit-born Brendan Benson is songwriting's undiscovered shining light. Lapalco says so. Jack White-approved and boasting the sweetest harmonies. smartest lyrics and most melodious rock. Mr Benson's sunnin scruffy masterpiece s0unds like the Beach Boys tickling Elliot Smith and would sit nicely alongside Ben Kweller's debut. if it wasn't light years better.

With his sparkle turned to eleven. you stumble over last year's wrny catchy single 'Folk Singer' before Benson builds on former glories. from the Bowie-esque 'You're Ouiet' to ‘I'm Easy's sprawling get up and go. Each track a bittersweet delight don't miss him this time round. (Camilla Pia)



Nothing Broken (Cargo) 000.

After 12 years standing in the shadow of Nick Cave. Bad Seeds keyboard player Conway Savage is getting a bit of the limelight for himself. producing an album of gentle. old-fashioned melodies.

While Savage takes singing duties. it is rather the piano which is placed centre stage. often saying Just as much as Savages growled vocals. The standout track. ‘Old SOuI With a New Hole'.