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POCK MOGWAI Happy Music for Happy People (Rock Action PlASi OOOO
Mogwai like taking the piss as the title here might suggests - and they could have easily disappeared up their own vocoders With an album of disco-folk drum & bassinose flute- ia/z toss here. Instead though, they follow their preVIous three (two great. one imriiense) long players With a record that refines their singularly bloody- iriinded notion of cantankerous. instrumental rock even further, and find an uneasy equilibrium between discOrdant fun and glacial melody.
As comfortably conCise as 2001 Rock Act/on, 'Kids WI“ be Skeletons is Spacemen (3 minus the skag. ‘I Know yOu are but who am l’?‘ is four Tet being slowly digested by his own Powerbook and ‘Hunted by a Freak' is as Succinct and emotive a statement as they have ever cared to make. (Mark Robertson)
HIP HOP VARIOUS Scratch Perverts — Badmeaningood (Whoa Music) 000
‘Get your mudda tuggin' shit straight.' counsel Showa 8. AG on track 1 1. Now that's what I call Wisdom - albeit not the kind you expect to be dispensed by your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Certainly this mix album is as good as 24 karat. mean as the streets and as bad as Lee Van Cleef's ass. Some of the more pure hip hop is a might too abrasive for this daisy age aesthete. but any compilation boasting ‘Ghost Town'. the theme from Scorpio and Minnie Ripperton's ‘Les Fleurs' is worth a go. Understated messmg
about frorr‘. the per/erts but packing plent, of 'Bam Bam'.
HOUSE VARIOUS Solevisions ’SOIQl COO
Sole have been running clubs and putting out records for the best part of a decade. and while they haven't yet made the comriiercial breakthroughs achieved by fellow Glasgow label Soma. they're no strangers to making people move their feet.
Solewsrons features regular Sole collaborators such as Joey Negro. Milton Jackson and Sva People in a mix of disco» heavy vocal house. tougher dancefloor belters and downteiiipo. iaz/y tracks from the likes of Open Door. whose excellent cover of Pink Floyd's 'Breathe' opens this uneven but entertaining collection.
Elsewhere. Al Kent weighs in With some swaggering sax action on ‘Back in Love' and Guiro bring on Steve Edwards for some soulful retro fun on ‘Put your Hands Together.‘ (James Smart)
ROCK VEGA 4 Satellites (Taste) 0
The shelves of charity shops were made to hold anonymous. uninspired indie rock drivel like this. Despite this being Vega 4's debut album, it sounds like they've got one foot in the grave already. such is the insipid. dreary. whiny. angst rock-lite on display
been grown a rrrajor label Test tube. the rnulti national foursorrw stick tr, all fl“: usual formulas irocker. anthem. ballad. rocker
repeat ad llEtLleflllYli. younding a little bit like Coldea,' and a little bit like Travis only being totally bereft of real emotion. original ideas and a sense of purpose.
Dedicated to 'even,one who has a dream] Sale/lites WI“ certainly send you to sleep. (Doug Johnstonei
l/\T IN VARIOUS Latin Melt (Nascentel O...
With so much watered down pseudo~Latin guff choking the charts. you tend to forget how glorious the proper. energetically crafted stuff is. The latest in Nascente's Melt series prowdes an all too brief taster of current cross— fertilisations Within the Latin genre. conducting us on a whirlwnid tour of Cuba. Columbia and Guatemala Via France. Germany. England and the US.
The collection ~ which includes work by electro/acoustic bass maestro Cachaito. Calexico. those lively Innovators of “Dub Latvia and a pair of tracks from London— based drum 8. bass combo Sidestepper — brilliantly showcases an eclectic range of fusions and hybrids making this a sympatico summer- holiday purchase.
HOCK GRANDADDY Sumday
Sumday features only a smidgen of the expansive musical genius of 2000's The Sop/itware Slump: instead Grandaddy are gradually refining their oddly orchestral country SOLinds into a Sumptuous and seamless take on modern pop. With
Hail to the Thief i)(}rf(‘;‘l"?l‘.é?
Changing the time on Thom’s watch was a gag with hilarious results
Radiohead are overrated. Flagellate me with rolled-up copies of 0 if this is sacrilegious but they’re not as good as everyone says. Then again, when faced with U2, Oasis, Coldplay - the current competition for the title ‘uber band who rule Planet Rock’, Radiohead are still pretty brilliant. Few have come close to equalling the ethereal whiny magic that is OK Computer and after disappearing up their own mini-disc players with the self- consciously muddled, if occasionally sparkling Kid A and Amnesiac, they return with an expansive sprawl that delivers almost too much.
One genius trait that carries through every Radiohead record (Pablo Honey excepted) is that it left you wanting more, something that’s sorely
After blistering into town on a rearing mechanical steed with the truly immense ‘2+2=5‘ - which follows the three-part hysteria ‘Paranoid Android’ did - and the embellished digital burp of ‘Stand Up, Sit Down’, Hail to the Thief sags in the middle. They meander off and we‘re left flailing through a deathly musical sludge, great songs mostly, but the collective effect is curmudgeonly. Chop three or four out and Hail to the Thief would work perfectly.
Other than this, it is only Radiohead’s lack of emotional expression that lets them down. They aren't lacking in emotion per se, but more the breadth of it. Sure, the world is turning and burning and Thom Yorke is struggling to find ways to express his panic/disgust/despair but it comes
through on only one overly serious emotional level.
Perhaps this is the universal appeal of such a wilfully ‘difficult’ rock band. Oasis and U2 deal in two-dimensional personal politics and while Radiohead are a stage on from them, they, like their spiritual godfathers Pink Floyd, now only deal in broad, impersonal sweeps.
But despite showing up Radiohead’s inherent lack of editing and humour, Hail to the Thief is still better than most albums you’ll hear all
year. (Mark Robertson)
swathes of harmonies and ultra-produced gtiitars and keyboards. Stirriday sounds frightenineg like a non wanky ELO on tracks like lip on Standby' and recent single 'Now it's
There are still slices of indivrdual. if melancholic brilliance here. though. Such as the relentlessly catchy 'Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake' and 'Saddest Vacant Lot
in All the World'. a song so heart—crushingly pretty and sad that Brian Wilson would give his loony pills to have written it.
DEAD MEADOW Shivering King and Others
The trouble Wllll stoner rock is that it comes acr( ss a s selfmdulgent. introspective. pointless and retarded if you're not stoned. Actually it's like if you're stoned too. only it doesn't seem to matter as much.
Here. American threesonie Dead Meadow get locked in one alrriighty retro guitar
groove and. although they can check out any time they want, it wetild seem they can never leave. Sadly, while it might at times conjure up images of a freaky- deaky Sabbath. Led Zep or Cream, the Dead Meadow sound is so mirthless and lacking in charisrria that it makes Shivering King and Others a veeeery long and boring trip. Man. (Doug Johnstone)
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