Penpushers are a six- piece Edinburgh collective who have mashed together beats. Clever raps (in welcome. distinctly un-American accenISl and a host of wisely-used and blended samples to create shit-hot material that would grace anybody's oversized bass bin.

And while the rapping is of a high standard. major plaudits must go to the Closing instrumental. ‘The LLiCid interval. a dizzying organscape that DJ Shadow w0uld be pr0ud of.

Andrew Richardsoni


TOM MCRAE Just Like Blood iDBl 00

Just like blood? No. Tom, you've got it wrong. Blood is red

WA—W: _ . ' U‘I3I)

and VISCOUS. This is insipid and anaemic. It's so coffee table that my copy has Sprouted legs and grown coasters.

But wait. comrades! There is hope! For surely the prevalence of records Such as this the follow up to the Mercury-nominated Tom McRae and the ideal present for anyone who thinks DaVid Gray is Cutting edge will produce such a reaction from living and breathing people that a new musical force will be unleashed to clean it all away.

No to the world- weary! No to the polite! No to Tom lvtcRae! (Mark Fisherl



iEpici 000

You can almost picture young Osb0urne instructing her collaborators: 'i'll have one that sounds like the Go (308. one like Green Day. one like Hole. one

like PJ Harvey and

12” on sale 10/02/03 the co, 7" and 12" include songbird. plus (you’ve got) the heart of a star, bonus track on CD and 12" columbia (live) dvd single includes songbird (demo) plus unique behind the scenes and live performance footage of oasis including

unseen interview footage with Iiam 8. noel from throughout 2002.


three like the Strokes. AND MAKING IT FUCKING SNAPPY!‘ It‘s so easy to be cynical. Which w0uldn't be difficult if this all wasn't so damn catchy.

With more hooks than a fly fisherman's hat. this highly derivative. highly entertaining musical tantrum is no more Spiritually bereft than the plethora of flimSy oppOrtunistS parading their musical 'talents' on TV. And at least she's kinda funny except on the tribute to her ma at the end here which is just plain painful. If Avril 'thiS week's Alanis' Lavigne can lay claims to being a serious artist. then Kelly can happily call up Boards of Canada for help With that ‘diffiCult' second album.

(Mark Robertson)




Nocturama iMutel 0000

Cave continues to reap what he’s sown

.1 I .. It’s easy to say Nick Cave is overrated. Like any prolific and celebrated artist whose body of work becomes too heavy to carry all at once (in a literal vinyl sense of course, rock nerds) there is a reckoning that they’ve had their moment. But Cave has never really had a ‘hit’ per se, having fluctuated between pretty damn great and absolutely astounding for most of his dozen studio albums.

Nocturama falls more into the former than the latter and feels almost light after the full-on drama of 2001’s No More shall we Part. Despite the gothic overtones of the title, this latest is an erudite concoction of romance, longing and cantankerous rage. Although slower piano-driven ballads proliferate, they do not dominate, though Warren Ellis’ mournful violin work remains a central figure in the songs: the aural equivalent of an icy drop from the nose of a man locked outside after the heavens have opened.

‘Bring it On’ is as strident and conventional a rock song as Cave has ever composed and ‘Right Out of Your Hand’ as slight and pale a lullaby as one would ever desire. Then there’s the rage. If ‘Dead Man in my Bed’ sounds like a limping drunk, rattling unsuccessfully through the bar-room brawl, then final track ‘Babe, I’m on Fire’ is said dispomaniac being pummelled around in a barrel as it lollops down a some stairs.

After periods of great composure and sedation, it’s good to hear there’s still some swagger and bile, as well as flair, about the Bad Seeds these days. (Mark Robertson)

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