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Steps "steps_lowe" (Luxembourg)

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The Lonely Position of Neutral
The Lonely Position of Neutral
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £6.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beats other 'metal' hands down, 21 Nov 2002
On the TRUSTcompany web-site; the opening lines in the band bio are 'No man is an island, and everything seems to take a village these days.' In the case of TRUSTcompany, it took a little longer to put together their major-label debut, The Lonely Position of Neutral, one of the most promising rock debuts of the year
TRUSTcompany formed in Montgomery, Alabama when singer-guitarist Kevin Palmer and drummer Jason Singleton met as teenagers with a mutual interest in making noise. Bassist Josh Moates and second guitarist James Fukai joined in 2000 to form the quartet. Two indie-released albums were recorded and disappeared without trace, then TRUSTcompany played an L.A gig in late 2001, catching the attention of Geffen Records President/Flip Records founder Jordan Schur; who carried a pedigree for finding exciting American bands; Limp Bizkit, Puddle of Mudd, and Staind. The band were apparently signed hours after the set closed
Produced by Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Lit, Eve 6) and mixer Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Therapy, Feeder, Jeff Buckley, Rage Against The Machine) 'The Lonely position of Neutral' took place. And it's clear where these influences lie, sounding like Feeder in bed with Linkin Park being joined by the Deftones, and that's no bad thing. In fact throughout the loud-soft guitar riffery and impassioned vocals on tracks like "Falling Apart", ¨Hover¨ and ¨Figure 8¨ there is also a suggestion of the influence of classic D.C. post-punkers Fugazi.
Current single ¨Downfall¨ is awesome, tearing up the American charts and gaining great airplay, it's a great tune in a traditional way that sounds fresh and the accompanying video is also interesting. Heartbreak has found its way into many a popular song and the collections on this album are no exception.
Catch them on tour with Korn and Puddle of Mudd, the record's been out for a month or so, released relatively quietly. Expect a new marketing drive in the close future and see for yourself.


True Skies
True Skies
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: £5.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ho hum, 21 Nov 2002
This review is from: True Skies (Audio CD)
Yes the names Tong and Jones have previously been printed in Verve record sleeves and yes John Squire (he of Stone Roses infamy) has had a lot of input, but those expecting Urban Hymns rediscovered can forget it. 'Quicksilver' opens as if the 60's are still around, its lazy Zeppellin riff rumbling across impassive vocals. 'Young Again' is a momentous (read commercial) single and there are undoubtedly a number of highs on this record. The Mandolin on 'Crest of an Ocean', the doo doo doo sing a long on 'I Wonder How' and the aforementioned 'Quicksilver' for example, but there are also a select few tunes that won't be troubling the stereo; 'What You See' and 'I am the One'. The Shining paddle in the kind of bluesy pyschadelia that is the bain of an already troubled genre offering moments of quality alongside guitar staples and tired ideas.
Whilst The Shining don't really find themselves a niche to call their own they can clearly do anthems; whether this debut allows them to cut their teeth on something altogether more special is another matter, for now The Shining are a band it's okay to like.
Not much fuss, no cod-political sound-bites and a handful of quality earnest indie-rock tunes.


Comfort in Sound
Comfort in Sound
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.48

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tragic but justified, 21 Nov 2002
This review is from: Comfort in Sound (Audio CD)
A lot has been made of Jon Lee's tragic suicide this year and almost inevitably 'Comfort in Sound' doesn't follow the path of - the largely successful - 'Echo Park' and its bubble-glam sensibilities and in many ways is all the better for it.

After an emotional return to the live circuit at the Reading and Leeds Festivals earlier this year this record (Feeders fourth long-player) finds Grant and Taka inhabiting a darker, highly emotional and deeply personal place. Many people would have expected the boys to pack it all in, but Feeder continued as a tribute to Jon, themselves and not least the fans. What people can't have expected is just how goods this collection is. A step on musically, yes, but only as a development of their own inimitable style.
"Just The Way I'm Feeling" recalls the strings and scope of 'Yesterday Went Too Soon' but is more heartfelt and honest. As an opener it's a strong indication of the bands intent, with Grant's voice peering over layers of typical Feeder melody. "Love in love out / find the feeling.". Current single "Come Back Around"; (come on you know it), it's the one that sounds a bit like the Foo Fighters only better, is an emotional burst back to form. Title track "Comfort in Sound" is a little like 'Echo Park's' stand out 'Piece by Piece' crossed with 'High', "We fall right in / and suffer our sins". Another indication of the power one of the most under rated bands in the U.K can convey.
"Forget About Tommorrow" is classic Feeder, another gorgeous tune with those mammoth sized strings that builds on waves of hooks and melody. "Child in You" is an ode to lost times, while "Godzilla" changes direction toward, b-side 'Divebomb' and 'Bug'. A strange break in preceding's.
"Love Pollution" is in all honesty one of, if not the, best tracks Nicholas has penned, with its descending guitar motif, a tune to die for and the multi-layered effects recalling an "Achtung Baby" U2. Matched only by unbelievable closer 'Moonshine'. Grant Nicholas was voted in Kerrang 1997, as the 14th most important musician in the U.K after this that list may need revising.
Instead of mixing an matching different styles and paces, Feeder seem to have found a consistency missing since 'Polythene' and matured into a sound of an epic scale. Those expecting more hi- octane belters in the vein of, 'Insomnia' or 'Evergreen' will be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed. Imagine an album crammed full of the anthemic tunes that have graced the previous three records and multiply it by 10 and you'll get the gist. Whereas 'Echo Park' was a decidedly patchy affair, C.I.S is a collection of songs guaranteed to have you humming along and investing in a new air guitar.
One of the most important releases of the year.


Breathe
Breathe
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £5.34

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gently does it, 21 Nov 2002
This review is from: Breathe (Audio CD)
From Iceland these semi-acoustic alt-folk rockers (that’s easy for you to say), are touted as the answer to Coldplay, Starsailor and Haven. Its not without real credence that these lads seem happy to break both sides of the Atlantic armed with a clutch of lazy melodies that dip and soar like a roller coaster.
Traumatised vocals and snappy single word titles are all present and correct, cue 'Catch' and 'Epitaph'.
Happily, the tunes they overlap hit the right level of honesty and frailty on the effortless glide of 'Silence' to the recognisably broken tones of Nick Drake on 'We'. Arnar Gudjonsson, like Gary Briggs, James Walsh and Chris Martin is a king of the melancholic power ballad, through the middle part his Verve -esque rockers tend to tread water, for the most part leaves sound refreshing enough to be welcomed into the misery fold.
It’ll undoubtedly be a quiet journey but watch them gently ascend the ladder of success.


A Rush Of Blood To The Head
A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Price: £3.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching-Better-Great, 27 Aug 2002
...Parachutes drifted in on a downbeat 'Don't Panic' proclaiming with a wide eyed innoncence that "we live in a beautiful world". 'A Rush of..' however is perhaps a bold satement of intent as 'Politik' enthuses 'Open up your eyes'; this is the new 'bedwetters' and they have something to say. In most Coldplay tunes there is always a little something saved till the end and this is no exception, when you think the melody stops it doesn't and offers yet another reason to rightly champion these unashamedly middle class, educated, nice lads.
Single 'In my Place', closer at Glasto is the only survivor from the original recording sessions and has been a regular in the live set for ages, it is without doubt the song most resembling that of Parachutes, simple, beautiful and achingly romantic.
'God put a Smile on Your Face' is an up-tempo; yes up-tempo number calling on uncertainty, ¨Where do we go?, nobody knows¨. It has an eastern guitar flavour, a mantra and a cocky attitude. Confident without being pompous. Are you listening Noel?
'The Scientist' is piano led intially sounding like 'Trouble' older wiser brother , one of the most popular songs aired pre-release. It's melancholy, it will adorn many a bedroom of hindsight and reflection, slowly introducing Buckland on guitar adding drum loops and some handclaps before building into a tumulous cresendo. ¨Nobody said it was gonna be easy - It's such a shame for us to part¨ This is the next single to be released, coinciding with the winter tour.
'Clocks' starts like Muse with a psychadelic piano interlude and operatic guitars, without straying into Bellamys often indulgnet noodling, it's a strong contender for one of the albums highlights and a possible single.
'Daylight' has the same built up staccato beat that punctuates many of the albums tunes, it has been inevitably compared to Radiohead, if anything it belongs with early Fierce Panda release ¨Brothers and Sisters¨. At the close it sounds like the Beta Band with another eastern slide guitar motif.
'Green Eyes' is touching, effortlessly dreamy and acoustically led, just as it begins to sound like a filler the bridge kicks in and as the last bars drift off you could hold on to them forever.
'Warning Sign' inevitabley drawing on lost love, is a bloody heart melter and raises the hairs on your neck, arms and anywhere else you'd care to mention. I defy anybody not to be touched when Chris declares 'and the truth is that I miss you', unexpected album highlight? Quite possibly.
'A Whisper' starts urgently, introducing a coda and a distinctive delivery a little like some of the 'Blue Room ep' recordings, changing tack a number of times - not necessarily a weak track, but, by the same token, not a great one either.
'A Rush of' as title tracks go this is something else. It has an auspicious beginging, acoustic and a little angry, then soothing, then insistent 'said I'm gonna buy a gun and start a war if you can find me something worth fighting for'. This is what volume was made for - turn it up and see for yourself.
'Amsterdam' the piano and voice on this track are instantly recognisible, ending the album just as 'Everything's not Lost' did on Parachutes a sense of hope and optimism. 'and time, time is on your side'. All that's left to do when 'A Rush of Blood..' finishes is to press play again.
Critically Coldplay took a beating for not being challenging enough, from the same critics who chastize bands for lacking sincerity and being earnest it was a tricky period as the backlash against that band who did 'Yellow' opened in full season. In all honesty the style has not altered all that much, the melodies are typically simple and fragile, the lyrics are just as opaque and general, ensuring everyone can find something to relate with. It's this familarity that gets to people, some find the songs and Martin's (Chris) voice bland, others feel that they know and love the songs from the first listen and there are those who will grow to love them. Essentially this is what Coldplay do, and when they are as good as this perhaps they can be forgiven for lacking moments of spontaenity or dpeth maybe even ......originality. There is an air that they have played it safe afraid of really letting themselves go but have developed their sound further and surley recorded one of the best albums of the year.


The Private Press
The Private Press
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Follow up follows suit, 30 July 2002
This review is from: The Private Press (Audio CD)
A few years ago Josh Davis brought his eclectic record collection out of his bedroom and turned the music world on its head with 'Entroducing', fusing dance with hip-hop and funked up samples. In doing saw DJ Shadow spawned countless other lesser 'concept artists'. With the critical acclaim the debut release received, it was always going to take an absolute barn storming follow up to top that record.
Davis' much publicised collaboration with MO WAX's James Lavelle on UNKLE added extra scope to his already growing reputation. It's taken 6 years to arrive but it has been worth the wait. 'The Private Press' certainly matches its predecessor but, put simply, 'Entroducing' will always be his own benchmark.
Less spontaneous than his debut and featuring popular samples (David Holmes also uses 'the story' narrative as an intro), this recording is clearly a more rounded affair. It is, at times, darker too with haunting hooks and vocal loops ('Fixed Income' and 'Six Days'). Clever, impressive and very very DJ Shadow, whilst nothing on here is as standout as 'Stem/Longstem' it maintains a spirit not found amongst many uber produced acts. As a result DJ Shadow aka Josh Davis leaves all pretenders standing in his...........aw forget it!


Gift
Gift
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.93

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gift? - It certainly is!, 30 July 2002
This review is from: Gift (Audio CD)
Doomed in the U.K as interest begins to flag in the NU-Metal scene, Taproot will, unfortunately, never be massive.
Better than the majority at delivering muscular anger anthems, the Michigan quartet put out a hell of a racket. No fillers here, just quality mosh pit fare. There's not much to really distinguish them from perhaps 'Adema', Taproot meld together driving 'Pumpkins-esque' rhythms and 'Deftones' like fractures. Frontman Stephen Richards is prone, to a little welcome, wigging out and the staccato beats and beats are representative of the talents visible here.
Again it's not original and again it's not particularly emotional considering the amount of angst in the lyrics and perhaps it's altogether a little to clean. Yet the delivery and consistency carry it above the rest of the surly tattooed crowd.
'Again & Again' and 'Now' are prime examples of the quiet, loud, quieter then LOUDER school of song writing and again there is just a little something that means that it's no crap. If only all the bands in the Middle American mainstream market were this good, then people wouldn't be worried.


The Remote Part
The Remote Part
Price: £10.54

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome big league calling card, 22 July 2002
This review is from: The Remote Part (Audio CD)
Here we go then! Scot based Idlewild throw their all into this world smashing release.
It's been long threatened, it's always been so close, '100 Broken Windows' was brimful of natty little tunes that promised something bigger. 'These Wooden Ideas' and 'Little Discourage' could potentially be the fore fathers to the new improved 'wild behemoth on the top ten shagging 'You Held the World in Your Arms' orchestral bombast and 'American English's' single of the year contender.
It's not so much that they have grown up and stopped arsing around, it's just a marked progression in 'Idlewilds' evolution.
Confident, intelligent, lyrically sound and as vital a U.K band than ever before. See, over the coming year, Roddy Woomble and co wrestle with 'Coldplay' as Britains best band. The anthemic rout of '(I Am) What I am Not' is a traditional live favourite and the effortlessly gorgeous 'Tell me 10 More Words' further cements the bands reputation for penning quality tunes. Their influences are as clear as crystal (R.E.M and Echo & The Bunnymen), but when things are this good who cares?, Idlewild 'covering R.E.M covering The Smiths tm,' never sounded so good.
'Scottish Fiction' spoken by Scots poet 'Edwin Morgan', closing the LP is indicative of 'The Remote Part's' difference from most over ground guitar based rock. They have been lurking around, moodily sharpening their tunes for what seems like an eternity, boys centre stage is all yours!


Everyday
Everyday
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.72

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the Year - no question (well Jazz anyway), 10 July 2002
This review is from: Everyday (Audio CD)
Jason Swinscoe apparently got fed up with traditional instrumentation ad as a result made the impeccable but inconspicuous 'Motion' debut. History proclaims that second albums can be, by all accounts, a bitch! Not so on this assures sophomore LP. 'Every Day' takes jazz, as in the proper stuff with brass and horns (not fricking Morcheeba) and produces one of, if not THE, dance/jazz crossover albums of this year.
Those tempted to label it nu-jazz beware both Swanscoe and Giles Peterson will have something (less lazy) to say. Not as worldy as 'One Giant Leap'(thank god) nor as pompous as perhaps 'UNKLE', this old style jazz in a shiny new wrapper. Have a glass of Merlot, a smoke and chill out. Fontella Bass (on 'Evolution') and Roots Manuva (on 'All Things to all Men') make welcome vocal appearances and every track on this record soars, glistens and spellbinds.
A little like mercury prize nominees '4 Hero', 'All That You Give' is a gospel tinged wonder better than anything 'Zero Seven' could muster, Lalo Schifrin would be suitably impressed.
Rap, Jazz, Soul hybrid in a contender for album of the year shocker? Not really just broaden your horizons once in a while.


Short Strut to the Brassy Front
Short Strut to the Brassy Front
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lockjaw whippersnappers from Rotheham strut their stuff, 10 July 2002
Tribute to Nothing expressed their dedication to the newly signed thisGIRL on a recent Metal Hammer sponsored tour and Lockjaw Records have clearly put a lot of faith in this motley crew from Rotherham.
Delving into spiky, raucous insanity similar to the now defunct 'At The Drive In', thisGIRL will not be taking many prisoners to achieve whatever it is that they want. Schizophrenic progressions coupled with moments of startling subtlety and mellower implosion displays how the band wields an almighty confidence.
Slamming juddery riffs battle it out with softer chords on 'Three Minute Spanish Film' and stomp through 'Using Radar's to Communicate' whilst 'Stop Making Sense' again highlights what this young band are capable of.
ON this debut LP thisGIRL really grit their teeth and flex their muscles. Youth is on their side, watching them grow will be fun and certainly on this evidence prove rewarding.


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