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New Music Reviews 2

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Robert Krajewski

Feb 13, 1984, 12:22:09 AM2/13/84
;;; -*-Mode:Text-*-

True West:
[Bring Out Your Dead, EP]
Produced by Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate, True West evokes a truly
American blend of rock and roll with pyschedelic overtones (especially on the
cover of Pink Floyd's ``Lucifer Sam''). The prominent sound elements are a
simple rock sound and very trebly guitars, like the Byrds' but less polished.
I especially like the folkish ``Hollywood Holiday.''

Steve Nieve: Keyboard Jungle
[Demon, album, England]
Don't expect anything like you'd heard on pop radio; on this record, Elvis the
C's keyboardist stretches out into a creative blend of classical, romantic, and
music-hall-influenced acoustic piano pieces. The jacket design is very witty,
and there are some free-form ramblings by Chris Difford (ex-Squeeze) that
accompany each ``song.''

XTC: Mummer
[Virgin, album, England] or [Geffen, album]
XTC have made both their most ``commercial'' and yet their most idiosyncratic
album (since guitarist Dave Gregory joined the band). The drummer left shortly
after the sessions for the album began, so most of the songs lack the familiar
authoratitative *thwack* of earlier XTC. The album may be considered
``commercial'' because of the surface simplicity and polished melodicism of
most of the songs, but three others (``Beating of Hearts,'' ``Human Alchemy,''
and ``Deliver Us from the Elements'') feature strange sounds and droning washes
over exotic rhythms. Now that Geffen has finally decided to release the album
in the states (it was out in England in November), maybe they can build on the
auidence that noticed ``Senses Working Overtime.''

Depeche Mode: Construction Time Again
[Sire/Mute, album]
Depeche-Mode have evolved from somewhat frivolous synthpop ensemble into a more
thoughtful group with the release of this album. You know things are different
when the first cut says ``now I find that most of the time, love's not enough
in itself.'' Simple, yes, but refreshing, given the surface candy glaze of
much synth pop. I even detect woodwinds and percussion (some metallic) in the
mix; it definitely has a very clean, tranquil sound.

Style Council: Introducing the Style Council
[Polydor, EP]
Somebody on the net mentioned that Paul Weller had started a ``jazz band.''
Well, not really. The Style Council draw heavily on American r&b (now whenever
will more than a handful of American WHITE bands ever do the same ?), mostly
some light funk, Motown (of course), and vocal groups. But there's also some
acoustic guitar strumming and deft ivory-tickling (by Mick Talbot, the other
member of the ``group''). The Style Council is like the Jam its love for r&b
(now it's more explicit) and its commercial success in England (though not as
much). Best cuts: ``Speak Like a Child'' and ``Long Hot Summer.'' However,
the club mix of the latter is a waste of vinyl.

X: More Fun in the New World
[Elektra, album]
When a American band starts complaining about not getting enough airplay
because of the British Invasion Mark II, they'd better be good. X is good
enough to complain, and they *are* getting played on the radio now (sort of)
and MTV (at 4am). Their unique punk/blues/country blend (though it's much more
than a mixture), propelled by the Airplane-like vocals of John Doe and Exene,
the incredible guitar playing of Billy Zoom, and the Ramones-like beat of D.J.
Bonebrake, can't but elicit enthusiasm. Rock is supposed to do that, I've

Golden Palominos:
[Celluloid, album]
Or ``NY Jazz Wierdness You Can Dance To.'' Arto Lindsay, Bill Laswell, Fred
Frith, Anton Fier, and a cast of thousands make cacophonous, cerebral stuff to
dance to, though I doubt it's getting played anywhere outside a couple of
avant-garde shows. Some of it's pretty good, and not grating at all, but some
of it is humorless obscurity for it's own sake.

Hunters And Collectors:
[A & M/Oz, album]
These guys, though they hail from Oz, are not Men at Work. They play a noisy
(but danceable) blend of native (to Austrailia) rhythms and post-punk frenzy,
sometimes made more mainstream by punchy horn charts. Although it's a
remarkably original and unpretentious sound, I found the record not immediately
accessible, and some of the cuts may go on for too long. Recommended if you
like a psycedelic element in your dance music.

Into Battle With the Art of Noise
[Island/ZTT, 12" single]
Frankly, I'm surprised at how such a strange-sounding piece of vinyl could be
in the top 10 in the dance charts. It's a bizarre lark perpetrated by Trevor
Horn (producer for the first ABC album, the latest by Yes, ex-Buggle), Paul
Morley (a writer for the NME) and various cohorts on the rest of the record
industry. The tools are scratch/dub production techniques and what sounds like
a lot of Fairlight CMI hackery and a droll sense of humour. More like an EP,
it features processed drum machines, altered voices, and the sounds of entire
symphony orchestras crashing. But it's catchy, and you can dance to it.

``Bob'' (Robert P. Krajewski)
MIT Local: RpK@OZ
UUCP: genradbo!miteddie!rpk
or genradbo!miteddie!mitvax!rpk

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