We're not introspective here at List Towers. no siree. hut iaminit we love a good Scottish band. So. woopittv-fucking-do tor Biffy Clyro. Kiiniarnock's finest. whose ‘The ldeal Height' :Beggars Banquet O... l is superb angular shriek-rock. despite its phenomenally sex:st ibr is itsexv7lcover

Equally high quality are Oldsolar. the Glasgow lo-t: outfits ‘The Perfect Backswuig EP' iAutoclaye O... ) sounding like 888 on morphine With a bag full of old skool synth hleeps that they tound at the back of a Cupboard. Sweet.

More conventional local sciinds come from The Storm Petrels. Their 'Johnny Cash Sunday EP' (Frank .0. l is all tumbleweed and ten-gallon stetsons. and. while not the most original. the tour-piece ooze enough charisma and confidence to pull it off.

Will this good Scottish band madness never end? No. not it Nine Mile Highs ‘Deep an the Realms“ idemo COO ; is anything to go by. The LiVingslon-based kids thrash out a menacmg mix of garage and space rock on what is a highly accomplisl‘ted and groovesome three-tracker.

Sigh. More innovative and excmng Scottish liitlSlC from Hoboken. Including ex-members of Looper and Astrid. their “Hotel Lisboa' (demo 0... takes the odd tactic oi blending big band show tunes With electro-clash bleeps and strings to create a kind of ritzy disco yerSion oi Goldtrapp wrth Tony Bennett Singing. And rounding oil a quite spectaCUlar selection of Scottish success this fortnight is Richard Anderson. The Glasgow Singer songwriter bashes but simple but effective guitar pop on 'Just As I Am' idemo 0.. l. very much in an Aztec Camera mould but none the worse for that.

Right. enOugh Caledonian crazmess. here are Burning Brides. The Philadelphia tuck-ups “Plank of Fire' (V2 .000 '; rages and rants like Mudhoney dOing nasty things With the Stooges under the top table at a wedding. Damn. l'd like to be at that reception. Despite usually being the dog's bawsack. Antipodean sludge rockers The D4 fail to deliver on ‘Ladies Man' (Flying Nun O. l. a perfunctOry piece of pub rock pitile.

And so. ignoring releases by Blue. Westlife. Darius and Phil Fucking Collins lall shite. hatch). let's cut to Missy Elliott. Forgetting the tediOLis and formulaic Fatboy Slim remix. ‘Gos5ip Folks' iElektra O.” l is prime plinky. classy madness from the Queen of R88. all shiny sheen and spunky attitude with a huge slice of much needed sass on top. Good. but just beaten to Single of the Fortnight by the awesome N'E'R'D's 'Lapdance’Prowder' iVirgin 0000 l. 'Lapdance' is an intense. edgy mash of R88. hip hop and metal. while tlipside ‘PrOy'ider' is wonky bluesy Jazz-rock rap. The alter ego of Liber- producers the Neptunes. N'E'R'D show iust what can be achieved by arrogantly pissmg all over muSiC genre mundaries. MOre power to 'em. (Doug Johnstone)

108 THE LIST . ‘.

MELYS games@| , Cating Pearls 5 _~ oo -:~ - H BATTLE ENGINE - AOUILA (lnfogrames £39.99)

9a,.,v\ , ' ' . mom i , . '.,°'?.:-99."E."T§I§'.KE Sleeping with Ghosts ' I ' d x H oooo .\'\ VARIOUS The NuYorican Funk Expenence Nit;;i-::"t-:> O...

- patience of a saint

It seems that everyone has an FPS featuring a covert operative these days. IGI2: Covert Strike is Codemasters‘ version and. like all the others. this is one of those one-man-against-many, choose-your-style, international-bad-guys.

., . . . weapons-expert, sabotage, steal and snipe '-;:"*:.:: .1518 first. affairs. Unfortunately for Codemasters, there are l a lot better games of this type out there.

Not that this is dreadful. Far from it. Everything that should be present is. Creeping around the variety of levels is fun for a while and quietly taking out guards to enter a secret base never loses its attraction. A wide variety of weapons, and indeed killing techniques, provide an adequate incentive to progress while the clever use of buildings and scenery allows a reasonably freeform game to emerge.

If only it wasn‘t so damned difficult. Damage is . . , . ., . . ,_ realistic, so fire-fights are definitely discouraged, 27., 5".:.l. "‘~'::é'. ' tank» while the enemy are relentless in their pursuit,

\ sweeping areas in a methodical and hugely

.. . _ successful fashion. Combine this realism with an

4'1: "rs: sx :x ‘..:;-’.-: inability to save mid-level and IGI2 descends into : .i'::'~: " s " .' a test of memory. Oops, camera up there! Die.

" :9 w '." '.'~-'- Restart. Dodge camera. Oops, alarm. Die. _, _. .. t Restart. And so it goes on. Avoiding this y: T" : ; scenario takes luck, skill and the patience of a a ., - ---_ ,. . saint. If you have all three then maybe, just is " maybe IGI2 is the covert FPS for you. " i (Iain Davidson)