Docstoc

Text

Document Sample
Text Powered By Docstoc
					CONSUMABLE ONLINE - May 22, 1994 REVIEWS: Morrissey - _Vauxhall and I_ Primal Scream - _Give Out but Don't Give Up_ London Suede - _Stay Together (E.P.)_ Soundtrack - _Flintstones_ No-Man - _Loveblows and Lovecries: A Confession_ Brother Grimm - _Brother Grimm_ Erasure - _I Say, I Say, I Say_ Indigo Girls - _Swamp Ophelia_ Storyville - _Bluest Eyes_ Cause and Effect - _Trip_ All reviews written by Bob Gajarsky (gajarsky@pilot.njin.net). ------------------------------Morrissey - _Vauxhall and I_ Morrissey. Not a well known name in society, but an almost god-like person in the field of alternative music. His voice and lyrics, both distinctively different than most members of the industry, has inspired more than a dozen fanzines while millions of fans waited anxiously for the release of his fifth solo album, _Vauxhall and I_. With no rush (the album was delayed four months) but a label push, the pre-release hype signified that this could be Morrissey's break into mainstream acceptance without alienating his fan base. The first single, "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get", is very indicative of the entire album. Lines such as "I've made up your mind" and "I bear more grudges than lonely high court judges" show that the wit and wry humour of Morrissey are still alive and kicking. Unfortunately, the rocking style of songs that represents most of his solo work as well as that with the Smiths seems in a dormant stage. "Billy Budd" stands out as the only truly good track from the collection. Clocking at a Smiths-like length of 2 minutes and 9 seconds, this song highlights Morrissey's voice coupled with Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte's guitars. "Now My Heart Is Full", the opening track from _Vauxhall and I_, and "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" are the two best tracks from the "new" Morrissey. Unfortunately, he jaunts through these mid-tempo tracks and leaves the listener to wonder when the song will kick in, or if the album ever will. Fans of Morrissey's slower material, such as "Meat Is Murder", "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" and "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" will find hours of enjoyment listening to _Vauxhall and I_. However, in this critic's

opinion, it ranks only above _Kill Uncle_ in terms of Morrissey related material and still, unfortunately, will not break him into wider mainstream acceptance. ==================================================== Primal Scream - _Give Out But Don't Give Up_ Primal Scream, the band that has mixed rock, hot psychadelica, hardcore punk and blues and soul, is back with their second American album, _Give Out But Don't Give Up_. The mix of funk and rock 'n' roll has always been a staple in Primal Scream's arsenal. Lead singer Bobby Gillespie was obviously overjoyed with the album when he commented that "It's (_Give Out_) the record we've always wanted to make but never had the opportunity or the money." The supporting cast for Primal Scream's second American album is impressive. Rolling Stones collaborator Jim Dickinson was present at some of the recording sessions along with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, the Memphis horns and the high priest of funk, George Clinton. In fact, Clinton shares lead vocals with Denise Johnson on two songs, the title track and "Funky Jam". Although the song "Give Out But Don't Give Up" doesn't impress, "Funky Jam" really DOES get funky; it could have come out of a Parliament or James Brown jam session. The opening track "Jailbird" opens with a non-sampled drum beat that sounds awfully like Brown's "Funky Drummer". And, the track "Struttin'" shows the band weaving a more than a 6 minute instrumental that's pure experimental jam session heaven. If it seems that a good deal of the tracks on the album revolve around funk, rock and fun , there's a reason. As Gillespie states, "Music is a way to love people...our hope is to make strange and beautiful records that take the process one step further. By the way, it's rock 'n' roll, not rock. There's a big difference - rock don't swing." "Rocks", the first single, is far and away the standout song of the group. Gillespie almost sounds like Duran Duran's Simon LeBon, but the rest of the group sounds just like the Rolling Stones of the early 1970's. This Stones connection is marked all over the album whether in the person of the aforementioned Jim Dickinson, or in more than half the songs, the Stones influence comes through loud and clear. Overall? "Rocks" really does rock, and half of the other tracks alternate between funk and rock; the perfect band to go watch with friends and buddies. Unfortunately, Primal Scream never quite decide what they want to do with the album (funk? rock? blues?) and it suffers from not quite being any of those classifications. Recommended for fans of the Black Crowes and other bands which are recreating the early 1970's.

=================================================== The London Suede - _Stay Together_ (E.P.) Suede has, for two years, had the pressure of living up to the billing as the "next Smiths". Lead singer Brett Anderson and the Smiths' Morrissey have similarities including voices which can best be described as "acquired tastes", an indifference to gender-specific sexuality, a great feeling of inevitable grandeur and wildly passionate fans. In addition, Morrissey has already covered one one of Suede's songs, a b-side titled "My Insatiable One". However, Suede *has* only released one album, their self-titled debut. The band has now released a new E.P. of 6 songs, 5 different, titled _Stay Together_ which stakes the band's claim as heirs to the Smiths throne. Like other English bands (Wham!, Charlatans), a band in the United States had the name Suede. After a legal settlement, the band Suede agreed to change their name to The London Suede. Thus, their present (and future) recordings will be titled in America with the new monicker. Enough about the history. The title track, "Stay Together", is unquestionably the best song any incarnation of The London Suede has ever written. It compares favorably to their own song "Animal Nitrate", but with that extra push that makes the song a classic. The track appears in two version, an edited-down single version and the original 8 1/2 minute mix. If the Smiths lasting single was "How Soon Is Now", The London Suede's might very well be "Stay Together". Two songs on the E.P. have only appeared as b-sides in England; "Dolly" and "High Rising". "Dolly", with its pounding drum intro, is a rocker unlike anything The London Suede have ever done before. "High Rising", however, is an almost acoustic track which would have been better left unreleased. Two other tracks on _Stay Together_ have never appeared on any of The London Suede's releases. "The Living Dead" rolls along at a slow pace but doesn't lose the listener and "My Dark Star" maintains the level of songs which The London Suede fans have come to expect. _Stay Together_ is an interim E.P. which will keep fans eagerly anticipating a full length album, due to be released in the fall. However, in the meantime, the band has released a quality 6 song E.P. whose title track has solidified the band's claim as the successor to the throne vacated by the Smiths. ==================================================== Soundtrack, _The Flintstones_ The soundtrack to the Flintstones movie resembles gifts at a wedding; something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Something old? Well, Was (Not Was) had a top 10 hit a few years back with "Walk The Dinosaur". All of the songs on the soundtrack are related to the Flintstones or dinosaurs, and this party song is no exception. Also included is Weird Al Yankovic's ode to Bedrock, "Bedrock Anthem", which medleys the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under The Bridge"/"Give It Away" into a tribute to Fred and Barney. This song appeared last year on Yankovic's most recent release, _Alapalooza_. Something new? Not totally new...but a new song...is US3's "Yabba Dabba Doo". Sampling Fred's infamous call with a combination of rap and jazz, rapper Def Jef teaches Fred and Barney how to rock in a true caveman style. Trumpeteer Gerard Presencer (who appeared on the group's smash "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)") also appears on the track. Something borrowed comes courtesy of Green Jelly and the Sex Pistols. The original song was the classic "Anarchy in the U.K." and the 1994 version is "Anarchy in Bedrock". Words and phrases are liberally replaced, including "I wanna destroy Mr. Slate" and the refrain, a snarling "I...wanna be...Fred Flintstone". Pure enjoyment and fun. More enjoyment comes from the first singles the B 52's cover of the Flintstones theme song. This is the type of song that could have been played by the B 52's at a fraternity party, 15 years ago, in Athens, Georgia. Also included by the band (whose name was changed to the BC 52's for the film) is a cover of the song "Twitch", first included in a Flintstones cartoon more than 30 years ago. The "something blue" comes in the form of the Screaming Blue Messiahs cult favorite "I Wanna Be A Flintstone". The rest of the tracks continue the party spirit...Stereo MC's, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Crash Test Dummies maintain the quality of music that is associated with their names. You won't have to buy rice to attend this ceremony. And, if you get the Flintstones soundtrack, you'll have a gay old time...Wilma! Flintstones Theme - BC 52's; Human Beings - Stereo MC's; Hit & Run Holiday - My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult; Rock With The Caveman - Big Audio Dynamite; Yabba Dabba Doo - US3; Twitch - BC 52's; I Wanna Be A Flintstone - Screaming Blue Messiahs; In The Days of the Caveman - Crash Test Dummies; Anarchy in Bedrock - Green Jelly; Walk The Dinosaur - Was (Not Was); Bedrock Anthem - Weird Al Yankovic; Theme from the Flintstones Movie- David Newman (All titles are tentative) ---No Man - _Loveblows and Lovecries: A Confession_ A dance synth group with a violin? Just can't be, you might say. Well, the English group No-Man break that rule

and create some irresistible hooks on their debut album, _Loveblows and Lovecries: A Confession_. The violinist mentioned is Ben Coleman; the other members of the group are Tim Bowness on lead vocals and Steven Wilson on guitar, keyboards and drum programming. In addition, the group recruits the help of others (including Richard Felix on cello and Mick Karn on fretless bass) to create one of the top synth albums of the year. The release comprises recordings made during 1991 to 1993, and includes twelve tracks. _Loveblows_ opens with the instrumental title track, "Loveblow", which sounds a bit like the Cure's opening to their _Disintegration_ album. Things pick up with "Only Baby", which has all the earmarks of a Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Erasure, Yazoo) penned tune. Bowness' vocals don't come in your face, but blend in smoothly with the music, in a manner quite similar to Cause and Effect or Anything Box. Other standout tracks include "Sweetheart Raw", which could have been a U2 experiment; "Taking It Like A Man", which combines the James Brown style of drumming (albeit programmed) with an Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds) style of singing and "Painting Paradise", which sounds a bit like Seal's "Crazy". American purchasers of this album receive two extra tracks , including the aforementioned "Taking It Like A Man" and the early U.K. alternative hit "Days In The Trees". Billy Baudelaire of Seattle Satellite International says that "No-Man is sex, violins and a tale to tell; a magical mixture of dream pop, art rock and moody minimalism". I call it the best synth album of 1994. In any case, _Loveblows and Lovecries: A Confession_, by the English group No-Man, is definitely worth a listen. Again and again. ---Brother Grimm - _Tales_ Out of the area in Florida known for fun and sun comes an unsigned band whose name is historically known for tales of sex and violence: Brother Grimm. Their self-described influences include The Beatles, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Diamond, Led Zeppelin and others. This eclectic grouping would obviously produce an unusual sound; I'd also throw in Pearl Jam and bands that border on the metal sound, such as Metallica, Rush and Living Colour as comparative sounds. The song "Mother Tranquility" (which won 1st place in Fort Lauderdale's Video Awards) packs a solid punch with both music and lyrics. "Touch the horde / of selfish greed / trees wither in / anguish / amongst the roar / of a chainsaw" are just some of the lyrics which show a deeper level than in most of today's songs.

"Ichabod" takes a Jean Michel-Jarre sounding keyboards and melds them with Michael Roy's distinctive vocals to make a killer track. Roy's voice, which at times sounds like Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) or James Hetfield (Metallica), has helped catapult the area to rave reviews in the Palm Beach Gardens area. The band has also generated publicity in that area for sharing its excess studio time with other local bands. According to keyboardist Dan Gindin, the close ties between the bands helps. "There's good support and good gigs," says Gindin. "We're (the area bands) all supportive of each other, but the Palm Beach area isn't known for its music." That's true; the media types who aren't still gushing over Seattle are camping out in San Diego or Athens, often unwilling to venture into uncharted territories like Palm Beach. Because the band is still unsigned, distribution of their self-produced 9 song cassette _Tales_ is limited to Palm Beach stores and, for $6, by mail. The band can be reached c/o Brother Grimm, 3878 Catalina Rd., Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. If given a shot, Brother Grimm is the kind of band that could garner a large, loyal dedicated following. Rather than spend the next $10 on the next hyped band from Seattle, spend $6 and get Brother Grimm's _Tales_. You'll be glad you did. ----Erasure - _I Say, I Say, I Say_ The British synth pop duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, better known as Erasure, have released their eighth album _I Say, I Say, I Say_. The dreamy, airy keyboards of Clarke are a sharp contrast to his previous works on earlier Erasure albums. The first single, "Always", is very typical of this album; keyboards that aren't the focal point of the song, but are a constant throughout the track. A solid song that has helped Erasure re-establish themselves on the American pop charts. Another standout track is "So The Story Goes". Bell's vocals sound very religious, as if he were a priest. A quick look at the liner notes indicates that these stylish changes were definitely planned; the Choir of St. Patrick's Cathedal appears on this track as well as "Miracle". "Take Me Back" is quite similar to a previous single of Erasure's, "Ship of Fools" in its airy beat and the irresistible hook of "I Love Saturday" could prove to be another

dance club smash. Erasure has only slowed down the music on a few tracks on _I Say, I Say, I Say_. "Run To The Sun" is a combination of Bell's vocals with an almost techno beat, a switch for Clarke. Bell also opens up his personal feelings more than before. For instance, on "Run", he notes that "For the first time in my life / I'm up to run away / It's not a choice I made easily." On the melancholy "Blues Away", Bell notes that he's "Always had my reservations / Who am I to blame / Walked into the ring of fire / Heart in a wall of flames". In conclusion? Erasure's _I Say, I Say, I Say_ won't bring back "lost" Erasure fans who came and went with the band through _The Innocents_ album and their two big American hits, "Chains of Love" and "A Little Respect". But, both tried-and-true Erasure fans and new fans of the new single "Always" will find this album worth every penny . ---Indigo Girls - _Swamp Ophelia_ Diversity. It's not the first word you think of when talking about the Indigo Girls. But on their fifth major label release, _Swamp Ophelia_, that's exactly what comes through from start to finish. The first striking feature about _Swamp Ophelia_ is the cover art and packaging. Emily Saliers and Amy Ray are featured in a 19th century style painting that is quite eye-catching. The inside liner notes, which slide out of the cardboard casing, contain the lyrics and more black and white shots of the Indigo Girls. Although I am not a fan of the digipak which houses the disc, the sleeve is done in a truly original format. The diversification of the Indigo Girls comes through on the first track, "Fugitive" and lasts straight through to the last track, "This Train Revised". "Fugitive" includes not only the acoustic and electric guitars the Girls are known for, but also a trumpet, flugel horn, African drums and Jane Scarpantoni (R.E.M., Bob Mould, Tiny Lights) on cello. Scarpantoni also appears on "This Train Revised" , where the vocals of Ray and Saliers are ably complemented by 2 violinists, a viola, and Saliers playing a dobro. In addition, "Train" is the album's most controversial track. "It's a fish white belly lump in the throat / razor on the wire / skin and bone piss and blood in a railroad car / 100 people gypsies queers and David's star" are part of the song which is written specifically about the Holocaust. Ray says , "I'd studied the Holocaust when I was in college...I had to get these feelings out of my system. There's a lot now being uncovered about the homosexual experience of the Holocaust and how it affected those survivors...it's made very clear that although Jews were by far the main victims of the Holocaust, there were many others too". The song which will probably appeal most to the

traditional Indigo Girls fan is "Least Complicated". A musical trip through Emily Saliers mind and past is emphasized with accordions, a penny whistle and drums. The cornucopia of intstruments used on the album are more commonly associated with someone like Paul Simon. Other tracks? "Power of Two" sounds a bit like James Taylor revisited and "Touch Me Fall" combines the old and new Indigo Girls; 5 minutes of peaceful bliss in the song while the final minute is a mix of loud guitar and drums. Jane Siberry and The Roches help with backup vocals on two tracks each, and the aforementioned cellos and violins seeminly pop up on all tracks. Only one track is in the "old" Indigo Girls style and that is "Fare Thee Well", where Emily Saliers sings vocals and plays acoustic guitar. However, it seemed like that "old" style was wearing a bit thin. Despite all the praise, it's not the Indigo Girls best work. It does move the band away from the purely acoustical sound into a more diverse area and this diversity will surely satisfy all fans of the Indigo Girls on _Swamp Ophelia_. ----Storyville - _Bluest Eyes_ (November Records) San Diego and Athens are often mentioned as prime contenders for the next "in" city in music. Athens' best is Storyville, and their new CD which is already receiving airplay is _Bluest Eyes_. The best description for Storyville's sound is a combination of Corey Glover (Living Colour) and Joe Cocker's vocals mixed with a soulful blues and rock mix. Storyville takes its name from the New Orleans red light district where jazz and prostitution flourished during the early 1900's. The Southern link continues through the musicians who are part of the album; Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble, Arc Angels), Stephen Burton (Bonnie Raitt). Lead singer Malford Milligan, who "is" Storyville, was named best male vocalist at the Austin Music Awards. The group was also honored by the AMA as the best new band and delivered one of the most talked about performances at the industry trade show South by Southwest. The title track, "Bluest Eyes", is inspired by one of Toni Morrison's novels. Don Henley even helps out with background vocals on the track, although they really aren't that noticable; Milligan carries the song all by himself. He seems to do this on the other tracks as well, such as his covers of Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street" and Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come". Rather than letting the music carry the song with the voice being a passive instrument, Milligan uses his voice as the main vehicle for the song. The basic format for the 13 song disc is driving rock and roll; guitar, keyboard, drums and bass. The only deviation from this is on the final track, "Darkness", which featuresonly

Milligan's voice and T.S. Bruton's guitars. This song is handled just like the other 12; flawlessly, leaving the listener wanting to come back for more. The New York Post has already named the release their CD of the week. The excitement is already beginning about Austin and Storyville will be leading the way. Check out _Bluest Eyes_ to hear what all the buzz is about. ----------------Cause & Effect - _Trip_ (Zoo) Cause & Effect's lead vocalist Robert Rowe has a voice which resembles that of Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan and their latest release, _Trip_, will further those comparisons. Whereas the first album, _Another Minute_ brought listeners back to the early 1980's and D.M.'s light, synth-pop sound, _Trip_ packs a meatier punch and closely parallels Depeche Mode's career. The first single, "It's Over Now", has a bit of Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again" in it, although it was composed by new member Keith Milo several years before in his former band, Practice Faith. Milo joined the band, which also consisted of Rowe and keyboardist Keith Milo, after the untimely death of keyboardist and founding member Sean Rowley. The band refused to submit to the easy way out - disbanding and continued their American tour. In addition, they completed three songs which Rowley had been working on at the time of his death - "Stone Girl", "Sinking" and "You Are The One", all of which appear on the latest release. "It's Over Now" isn't the only top notch track on the album. Other songs which stick to the Cause & Effect trademark of catchy, keyboard-based sounds include "Soul Search" - with an intro similar to the classic "Spirit in the Sky" and a dance beat in the middle; "Inside Out" and "Crash". These songs, like others, combine the Depeche Mode style of live drums/guitars and keyboards with a modern trance touch, similar to the Shamen meeting the Orb. One other song deserves special accolades, "Alone". Recounting the tale of a young woman's fears, the track carries haunting melodies with revealing lyrics. The ending to the song, with the woman saying "Could we leave the lights on tonight?", offers a listener many answers to the track's meaning, but with no firm conclusions. _Trip_ was produced by Martyn Phillips, who has also worked with Erasure, Jesus Jones and the Beloved. The second release of Cause and Effect shows lead singer Robert Rowe and drummer Richard Shepherd overcoming the difficulty of their deceased partner, the addition of a new

member and the "sophomore jinx" to produce a highly addictive second album. What a short beautiful _Trip_ it is, with Cause and Effect. ---


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:58
posted:11/13/2009
language:English
pages:10