THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE
This is Why I Love You (Org)
When I opened up this single I discovered that it in fact had twenty tracks, which was a nice suprise. The band are from the USA, and have released about seven albums over there, so this single gives a pretty good impression of the sound of The Brian Jonestown massacre overall. Basically, their songs are folk-driven acoustic numbers, with the better songs incorporating a variety of other musical instruments; the finest song 'The Lantern' has a hammond organ swirling all over it, and the psychedelic flutes in 'Servo' are very effective. Although the lead track is gentle, there are more gritty songs such as 'Cold To The Touch'. Where the band do stumble badly is on their long, droning tracks, such as 'Bad Baby', where the drawn-out mumblings get tedious quickly. This is enjoyable material on the whole however; very chilled out and relaxing.
THE CLINT BOON EXPERIENCE
White No Sugar (Rabid Badger)
'File under modern quirky pop' this single states on the side of the sleeve. In a bit more detail, the track is based around Mr. Boon's chirpy keyboards and deadpan story of a discussion on the Internet. Yes, it is fairly inoffensive pop music, with a cool, accesible beat that would easily go Top Ten were it released on a major label, but its also a lot of fun and supremely catchy, if not very innovative.
Magazine Actress (Spangle)
This is tinny and cheaply recorded, but also frantic, full of vitality and brilliant! The punky guitars, boy and girl vocals and cracking tune more than make up for the poor sound. I especially like the way the melody switches halfway through to become even better. Go and find a copy of 'Magazine Actress', it even comes on lovely see-through vinyl.
Less of Me
I've listend to this single several times and still can't understand it. It's not the sort of thing I listen to often; it's sort of Slint style lo-fo. The band are trying to create an intense atmosphere through the combination of their lyrics and music, and it works, the title track and the B-side 'An Area Of Low Pressure' are definitely two of the most haunting tracks I've heard this year. If you're after a challenging listening, Fourth Quartet are well worth investigating.
The Joy Of Plecs (Fierce Panda)
It's another one of those Fierce Panda EPs that come out now and again, which feature bands that are often on the brink of cracking into the big time, but not always. First up is Chicks with 'Feminist'. This is all frantic chord changing, crisp melodies and yelping, and is a lot of fun. Much darker are the offerings from Max Tractor ('Dirty Water') and The Monsoon Bassoon ('Volcano'). 'Dirty Water' is a gritty, twisted rock tune, and 'Volcano' is slower and more delicate. I really like the singer's voice, it adds a lot to the song. I was slightly disappointed with Cay's offering 'Reasonable Ease In Chilled Out Conditions'. Its long, and shows good musicianship, but also seems to meander along without much of a tune; nowhere near as good as their last single. The finest tracks are left till last. Fantasmagroover have a terrible name, but 'Modelling Must Pay Well' is a slice of squaling, adrneline-fuelled rock. I love The Samurai Seven and 'Amateur Photographer' is their most hook and harmony-filled effort yet; punk pop at its finest. Overall, a quality release, full of bands who are going to get much bigger.
Issue 2 Contents
Issue 2 Spring '99 © Tim Bragger