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John Mcgruther (Glasgow)

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In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up: (LIVE)
In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up: (LIVE)
Offered by Handpicked Records London UK
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars What electronics factories sound like, 19 Dec 2006
I don't listen to heavy metal, but the last three tracks off this record are worth a listen. Ministry have that uncompromising, slab-of-sound tone which I dislike in other metal acts, but the standard of songwriting is so high here that I can't ignore it. If you can't get into this one, try listening to Burning Inside at maximum volume (turn it RIGHT up!) while driving along in the car. The heaviest and most real-sounding Ministry album.

Surprise Your Pig:Tribute to R.E.M.
Surprise Your Pig:Tribute to R.E.M.
Offered by eamons_emporium
Price: £3.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complete waste of time - and therefore quite good., 26 April 2006
I suppose this album of various bands covering R.E.M. isn't really very good in the accepted sense, or at least that a lot of R.E.M. fans wouldn't like it as it sounds like a bit of a piss-take in places. If you like R.E.M. for their poetic lyrics and nice melodies, I can't see why you'd like this.

There are some versions on it that I like, though: J-Church's "Don't go back to rockville" and Mr. T Experience's "Can't get there from here" have a pop/punk energy to them, and King Missile do a hilarious, manic cover of "Get Up" in which they add in an extra verse about eating a rather delicious piece of cake. There are a couple of "serious" covers as well: Band of Susans's "1,000,000" and Flor de Mal's "Good advices" are both sincere and powerful. But the last word has to go to the laughable Tesco Vee's Hate Police, a monstruous and wonderful bunch of Motorhead-impersonating thugs whose cover of "Losing My Religion" is so phenomenally inappropriate that it's funny - to me anyway. Everyone else will absolutely abhor it.

Westing by Musket and Sextant
Westing by Musket and Sextant
Price: £10.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want you to tidy up this room right now, 26 April 2006
This was the last Pavement album that I ever got to hear; the name and the album cover had always made me think it must be kind of arty and studied, but actually, it's totally childish and silly. This one has the same production as Slanted and Enchanted but is less arty and serious than that album.

Just to take one song, "Maybe maybe" for hilarity value: it's got that ridiculous string-bending riff near the start; the percussion (the drummer sounds like he's drumming some broken frying pan); and those yelping vocals just top it. It's manic, reckless and utterly stupid.

Overall, hilarious and rip-roaring stuff, especially the super run of songs towards the end of side 1 that include the wonderfully-named Spizzle Trunk and Internal K-Dart. A brill wee album that sounds like a recording of a bunch of kids playing with their new toys, recorded on a ghettoblaster and played back to you down the phone line. These guys clearly think life is idiotic and approach their music with an attitude of total disrespect!

Terror Twilight
Terror Twilight
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The wicketkeeper is down, 26 April 2006
This review is from: Terror Twilight (Audio CD)
Bob Nastanovich, on the Pavement DVD, tells the story that when Pavement were deciding on the name for this album, that one of the band members suggested the title "Farewell, Horizontal". I think they're crazy for not calling it that, but what do I know?

This is an album that I've made a lot more enjoyable by making up a compilation tape missing out the ones I don't like (Ann Don't Cry, The Hexx and Major Leagues). I love it apart from those, and I've come round to the attitude that it's best not to let the songs you dislike spoil your enjoyment of an album. If you like Pavement's cleaner-sounding, post-Slanted and enchanted stuff, then I think you'd be into this too. It's merry, mellow, clever and has loads of complex and sneaky song structures, and although I find it patchy lyrically, it still has plenty of imaginative and zany lines peppered throughout it. Some of my favourites include:

"Who was it that said the world was merely all divorces and spare change? Let's lethalise our slingshots and swallow propane"

"Watch out for the gypsy children in electric dresses - they're insane. I hear they live in crematoriums and smoke your remains"

I left Spit on a stranger off my compilation tape as well. But it's OK.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, 26 April 2006
This review is from: Ghost (Audio CD)
Describing Third Eye Foundation to someone who hasn't heard them is a tricky thing to attempt - they have a quite specific atmosphere created by mixing unusual electronic drums, high-pitched voices taken from Vietnamese and Egyptian recordings, and other stretched and droning sounds which are difficult to pick out from each other or determine the origin of - and when combined together in these gradually shifting webs of sound, they create an ambience whose subtleties are hard to describe in words. The result is something chilling, misty, moon-like; something gloomy and edgy.

Third Eye Foundation's beats, which draw on what I would call breakbeat or jungle style, are easily my favourite of any electronic music I've heard, and would appeal to anyone who likes the complexity of Aphex Twin but dislikes the kind of plasticky, drum-machine sound of most electronic beats - the beats here have a quite organic sound to them. The beats are extremely subtle and give the album a mood of seriousness, as opposed to the dancey or funky feel that many programmed drums have.

Ultimately, the album's title probably describes Third Eye Foundation's film-soundtrack sound best - it is quite ghostly music. It's an odd combination of old recordings and futuristic music, which conjure up the image of a melancholic alien lifeform sitting on a cold planet somewhere in space. Because of the beats and guitar drones it's an extremely cool-sounding album, but more music for an art gallery than for a disco; a lot of people would find this tough to get round their head. I like it, but it doesn't come across as instantly appealing. Perhaps in the year 3000, this will be the kind of music that people will be listening to.

Garage Flower
Garage Flower

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True indie rock, 26 April 2006
This review is from: Garage Flower (Audio CD)
I remember when I heard an indie band for the first time in the late 80s, and this album captures that sound exactly. It has that recorded-in-a-warehouse sound, out of tune wailing vocals, and reverb on every instrument...I like things that are indiscernable, and at times on this album you can't hear what the guitar is actually doing, although you can hear that it's there. People who like the first albums by Throwing Muses, Nirvana, Mercury Rev or Jesus & Mary Chain might like this too. I love the aggressive drumming on tracks like "So Young", and the vocals, which are in a way whining and boyish, but to me a very cool slice of genius. Nastier than their later work.

Desert Sessions Vol. 7 & 8
Desert Sessions Vol. 7 & 8
Offered by thelastresortofmusic
Price: £14.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool and funny, 26 April 2006
This album basically sounds like a bunch of guys having a pretty good time. It has a nice, raw production sound to it and doesn't take itself too seriously. If you like Pavement, actually, you might like this. Just don't expect total energy rock - the appeal of this album is more in its sense of fun. I have a friend, by the way, who can't stop quoting the words from "Winners" to me - he even has them printed out and stuck to his acoustic guitar.

Desert Sessions,  Vol. 1 & 2
Desert Sessions, Vol. 1 & 2
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £375.13

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 26 April 2006
If you like Kyuss and related bands, I'm sure you'd like this. I wonder if it might be a bit prog-rock or 70s-sounding for some fans of subtle, gentle indie rock, mind you. A very strong album - to me, there isn't a single weak moment on it - they've made a lot more effort with this one than with most of the Desert Sessions recordings. Warm, fuzzy, sounds like it was recorded on somewhat antique equipment. The song order is great too - it gives the album a sense of flow from one place to another. Listening to this feels like a giant hash trip at a someone's party in California in 1970. What is it about those guys from Kuyss - they have this uncanny Midas touch where everything they do is imbued with this effortless cool. (And by the way, I love Robotic lunch - bloody hilarious!)

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