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Blue One’). Featuring fellow Irishman Henry McCullough on guitar, Kennedy upbeats Hendrix’s old trad nugget, ‘Hey Joe’, a Woodstock hangover from one of Bap’s other childhood inspirations: – Neil Armstrong and the 1969 moon landing. (Martin C Strong) ROCK JOYRIDERS Others Caught on But They Never Caught Up (Fixing a Hole) ●●●●●
They coulda been contenders. At the start of the 90s, Edinburgh noiseniks Joyriders were contemporaries and friends of The Lemonheads and Nirvana, yet somehow conspired not to make it big. This Japanese released retrospective collection shows what the fuss was about – a rattling, harmonious racket imbued with the hardcore spirit of Hüsker Dü, the furious power of grunge and the sweet melodies of Motown. At their best, like on the gloriously driven punk- pop of ‘Home’, the raging riffage of ‘Moving’ On’ or the booze-soaked adrenaline rush of debut single ‘King of Gasoline’, this was a band that easily matched their more famous peers. (Doug Johnstone) JAZZ GLASGOW IMPROVISERS ORCHESTRA Metamorphic Rock (Iorram Records) ●●●●●
Hard on the heels of the Orchestra’s GIOpoetics disc from the Creative Sources label in Lisbon comes this recording on the Glasgow-based Iorram Records (http://iorram.blogspot.c om/), run by three members of the band. The music was recorded during the Orchestra’s project with American trombonist George Lewis in Glasgow in December
2007, and captures four entirely improvised segments of music created during the preparation period after work had finished on the main piece in the project.
Lewis is an old hand at this kind of thing, and the sound palette they develop is more focused on brass and reeds than the string-led GIOpoetics. It may well be regarded as more ‘typical’ of the band’s approach, if they have such a thing. The CD is simply but attractively presented in an edition limited to 500 copies, and should be regarded as essential listening for anyone who follows their music. (Kenny Mathieson)
ELECTROPOP FRANKMUSIK Complete Me (Island) ●●●●●
Twenty-three-year-old Vincent Frank dropped out of art and fashion school before becoming a very decent beatboxer, then a remixer, and now a popster. This, his first album takes the high- energy hooks of Swedish hyperpop, fizzes them up with falsetto vocals and fast- forward digital beats, and da-nah! a gay dancefloor icon is born.
Except he’s actually straight (and going out with Holly Valance), but the Croydon boy’s Erasure meets Jimmy Somerville in a Nintendo remix-style is bound to confuse a few. A bit like Calvin Harris remixing Mika, with high-camp emotronica flourishes and over the top heartbreak lyrics, it’s slick disco painted in Global Hypercolor. (Claire Sawers)
Pokey LaFarge Beat Move and Shake (Big Muddy Records) Primitive throwback influenced by the likes of Chuck Berry, Ike Turner and Ray Charles. The real deal with a genuine love for wonderfully creative music.
Tara Busch Pilfershire Lane (Tummy Touch Records) Inspired by a childhood in Connecticut which she describes as lonely and melancholic, comes the synth-drenched, electro-orchestral album debut with an often dark, sometimes sweet imagination. Ben TD Tiny Movement (Lo-Five Records) Debut solo effort from Australian youngster who has been touring and recording alongside his brother since the age of 14.
Arthur and Martha Navigation (Happy Robot Records) British rock- stomp, electro-dance duo who are, in fact, named neither Arthur or Martha. Their sometimes moody and old school approach has seen them compared to Pet Shop Boys and Soft Cell.
She Keeps Bees Nests’ (Names Records) Being composed of little more than drums and guitar gives this Brooklyn duo a simple and gritty sound. Some may call it ‘downright sexy’, they do anyway. Betse Ellis Don’t You Want to Go (Free Dirt Records) Expressive fiddle- driven tunes mixed with lush strings, all from the lady responsible for the hillbilly riot that is The Wilders. Reverend and the Makers French Kiss in the Chaos (Wall of Sound) More subdued indie with a touch of funky electro pop from Jon McClure and pals.
23 Jul–6 Aug 2009 THE LIST 67
ALT.ROCK ISA & THE FILTHY TONGUES Addiction (Circular) ●●●●●
Re-issued from 2006 on the strength of their recent ‘New Town Killers’ single (from Richard Jobson’s film of the same name) Addiction marked/marks the return of Goodbye Mr Mackenzie alumni Martin Metcalfe, Fin Wilson and Derek Kelly. Having seen one-time GMM associate Shirley Manson hit global paydirt
with Garbage, veteran guitarist Metcalfe procured Portland, Oregon chanteuse, Stacey Chavis – a transatlantic swap of sorts. This ‘special edition’ (featuring three bonus numbers including new
opener ‘Big Star’ and a rendition of Lou Reed’s ‘I Can’t Stand It’) sees Isa & Co deliver southern-fried alt.rock, like some gothic-pop Lydia Lunch, Bongwater or even The Primitives (remember them?).
Cool tracks that leap out from the speakers are ‘Nae Tongues’, ‘Dreamcatcher’, ‘She Said Yeah’, ‘Sorority Girl’, ‘Trouble’, ‘How Many Days’ and the seductive ‘Finders Fuckers’. (Martin C Strong)
JAZZ ZED-U Night Time on the Middle Passage (Babel) ●●●●● Zed-U are a London- based trio made up of saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings, bassist Neil Charles and drummer Tom Skinner. Their debut album has the feel of a work-in- progress, but an intermittently intriguing one. There are a couple of fierce jazz-thrash blowouts, but much of the music is conceived as spacious soundscapes, interweaving acoustic jazz with electronic loops and lots of effects,
with a bit of dub reggae thrown in. It is often very effective
in its manipulation of musical and electronic textures, but can also get a bit meandering and unfocused, especially for repeated listening. A cover of Kraftwerk’s ‘Showroom Dummies’ with a dub reggae feel is quite entertaining if a bit tricksy, while ‘Chief’ evokes Acoustic Ladyland’s full-on thrash, and ‘Surman Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’ slip into free improv mode. File under promising at this stage. (Kenny Mathieson) ALT.COUNTRY ROCK BAP KENNEDY Howl On (Lonely Street) ●●●●●
Belfast-born singer- songwriter, Martin (or Bap) Kennedy, has been treading the rocky boards for nigh-on 20
years having led minor hitmakers, Energy Orchard, on their unsustainable UK Top 60 debut in 1990. Once sharing a stage with mentor, Van Morrison, while also becoming buddies with alt.country boy, Steve Earle, Bap has steadily gained respect due to several albums, including Domestic Blues, Lonely Street and his last, The Big Picture. Howl On represents
his best so far, reflecting as it does, the spirit of Americana through Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid- era Dylan (eg ‘Cold War Country Blues’, ‘The Right Stuff’ and ‘The