Comedian Sandy Nelson has a crack at this fortnight’s singles.
We're staying out for the summer as indie's finest offer it up to the Sun god. starting with Californian collective Granger. who lead the hot summer's day stroll with the gorgeously groovy ‘April Skies' (Homesleep em ). The folkish. country pop of The Bandits' ‘Take it and Run.’ (Cantro Del Blanco COO ) with it's bum-tit bum-tit drums and drunken harmonica will have the kids chorus chanting into the night at the fake Irish pubs. For those post-pub nights at home after failing to pull. J Xaverre’s ‘Great All Great’ (Memphis Industries 00. ) comforts you with lovely. grungy. lo-fi meanderings. understated vocals and tinkling kiddie xylophones. and Karime Kendra's jazzy. laid back blue-note groove ‘I Would’ (Scenario 0000 ) with it‘s smooth. seductive chill-out vocal brings on the dawn.
I thought I’d heard Placebos ‘This Picture' (Virgin .00 ) before. I hadn‘t. Then it struck me that everything they've done seems to be a variation on their debut 45 'Nancy Boy'. The Thermals’ ‘No Culture lcons' (Sub Pop 00” ) captures far more admirably the disaffected. fuck-this-shit attitude that Placebo are worthin grasping for. Label name of the week goes to Must Destroy Music. and their signings The Darkness do just that with their standard heavy rock ditty “Growing on Me.’ (MDM O ). All kerrang and no bang. it's rock with a cockney vocal. So I suppose you could call it cock.
I remember one stoned evening in the early 90$ watching Butthead tell Beavis that Red Hot Chili Peppers sometimes have to do woozy numbers to score with chicks. And here we are. With 'Universally Speaking' (Warners me ) they are at their finest. They settle back into middle age with a harmony laden, under-strung thing of beauty. Okay. so I'm getting old too. Which brings me on to One True Voice and Shakespeare’s (Way with) Words.’ (Jive
O ). Oh cursed. treacherous. damned corporate bastards! If Shakespeare knew what these shallow. shelf-life boy-bands were doing to the English language - 'In my heart I am a poet/ Don't know how to show it' - he'd be walking abroad demanding his p0und of fresh- faced ﬂesh.
For their commitment to the true spirit of rock'n'roll. two outs win single of the fortnight. The Blueskins' 'User Friendly' (Domino 00000) and Katastrophy Wife's ‘Liberty Belle' (Integrity .0000). Both numbers race like psycho-Surﬁn', voodoo freight-trains through zombie town on National Fuck You Day. If you ever see these bands live you're guaranteed to come home with your jacket c0vered in beer. Here comes the summer! WOO-H00! (Sandy Nelson)
106 THE LIST 5—19 June 2003
ROCK CORRIGAN How to Hang off a Rope
iBright Starr O.
Naming your band after yOurself is not normally a Sign of a shrinking vrolet Singer. And so it is With Martin Corrigan, the frontman of. erm, Corrigan. a Nonhern Irish Six-piece who thrash abOut in sprightly fashion. but never really get anywhere too interesting.
Inhabiting the same wonky grey area between punk and agitprop rock as the likes of Mclusky and The Crocketts. Corrigan do a lot of shouting about weird stuff like fanCying your cousin. but so what? Guitars riff along. drums pound. but behind all the irritatingly showy bluster there‘s precious little here to engage either hearts or minds.
NIKI KING Azure
(Caber Vocalba) O“
Niki King‘s eagerly awaited debut album underlines both the promise she showed while honing her talents in Edinburgh's clubs in the late 90s. and the progress which won her the Perrier Young Jazz Vocalist Award in 2001. Although she is also at home with sow and pop idioms. she has chosen an album made up mainly of jazz standards for her debut. Her sensuous. expresswe interpretations add a pleaSingly contemporary feel to familiar classcs like 'YOU Go to my Head'. ‘Don‘t Explain“. ‘Fly me to the Moon' or the gorgeOus Ellington/Strayhorn title track. Marcus Ford's deft gunar accompaniments are fleshed out by Subtle brass and perCussion. (Kenny Mathieson)
The Last Second of Normal Time Creep.in Beef 0..
‘Refresl‘izng' would be the word CC Sager (Gareth to you» was formerly a member of the Pop Group (seminal, inspirational legendan, blah blah blah). and has inhabited the hinterlands of pop and rock ever since. This weird and occaaonally wonderful record is pop music after a fashion. and while it sometimes stumbles over its own ideas. there's still plenty of originality to get your teeth into. With sultry. understated vocals from ex-Katydid SuSIe Hug. tracks like the woozy stroll of ‘Safe as yOur Secrets and the melancholic abandon of “The Johnny Bristol Flu' are tiny slivers of pop magic. Yeah, 'refreshing' ab0ut covers it. (DOUQ Johnstone)
FOLK ROCK IAIN HOGG
Close to my Heart (Wild Mountain) 0.
Scottish Singer- songwriter lain Hogg starts Wlth his debut album With a wonderful and uplifting elegy. ‘AmaZing'. It's an impressive and restrained opener, and the rest of Close to my Heart suffers by comparison.
‘GOing to NashVille' is a catchy c0untry ditty. ‘Scotland Oh Oh Scotland' sees Hogg waffle on about “a nation of poets. a natiOn of warrior sons' over a riff Dire Straits w0uld have rejected fer being overly arthritic and ‘Sometimes a Man Hurts' brings up the shocking fact that big strong men have feelings too. You end up Wishing Hogg had stripped Out the rhetonc and the fillers and left us wth a decent EP instead of a flaCCid album.
RAVI COLTRANE Mad 6
Eights Columb a O...
Saxophonist Raw Coltrane has emerged as a majOr figure in the mainstream of the contemporary saxophone spectrum, and confirms that status With this sparkling, high energy outing. The disc was recorded in New York for Yasohachi ‘88‘ ltoh‘s Japanese label. but is made available here though a deal With Columbia (along With discs by Eddie Henderson. Roy Haynes and a Max Roach-Clark Terry duo). The saxophonist is heard in characteristic fiery and inventive form on both tenor and soprano. accompanied by two different but equally powerful rhythm sections. He mixes his own compositions wrth claSSic jazz tunes by Mingus. Monk. Jimmy Heath and his father. John Coltrane. (Kenny Mathieson)
HIP HOP VARIOUS
Under the Influence (mixed by Rob Swift) (Six Degrees) COO
Skulking ab0ut mUSIC stores is all very well, but if you want a ready- made record collection you really want an older brother or some very cool parents. X- Ecutioner Rob Swrft Claims this album is the ‘kind Of mUSIC I was exposed to a youngster'. and the evrdence suggests that the SWIft hi-fi must‘ve been a blast.
He scratches old s0ul tracks. cuts into classic funk and generally pulls
eat tweaks Il‘at stxi'xi instaf‘tix '(tl‘t‘i'ti' — exe". it ware ix“. tlu ﬁe sure where from Scuff}: skill as a compiler and scratchei s uixle" .iblx il?l()lt‘:18l‘.t‘. tilttmtlg?‘ it; 'iard te Isten without the feeling that it neukl have been nice to hem these t‘abies in their full unabridged g!0r\. (James Smartl
BIFFY CLYRO The Vertigo of Bliss (Beggars Banguetl
Biffy Clyro are fabulously sick puppies. They not only emanate an unhealthy enthusiasm for facial hair bill you get the sense that if they really wanted, they could be they could be Feeder or some other bunch of professional blandists but instead chose the darker path to enlightenment where the material rewards are modest but it's a hell of a lot more fun getting there.
Taking a teen obsession for G NR and grunge and bonding it to a sense of incurable romantiCism, they create something both tender and terror- filled. Clanging and crunching like angry machines they make you come over all unnecessary wrth their unexpected swoops and swoons. An album of dirty. pretty things. (Mark Robertson)
The Black Babies (Young God) 00” DEVENDRA HANHART
There is something infinitely attractive about this record. Its primitive reCOrding may have some reaching for descriptions such as