Record And Tape Reviews: August 1991
Pixies – Planet of Sound
The Pixies return triumphantly with a new four-song single. Half rocking’, half melodic noise, Planet Of Sound is sure to please the long standing Pixies fans as well as newcomers to the band.
Starting off with the hard edged title track, Black Francis sings through tons of distortion over heavy guitar, bass and drum licks. The Planet Of Sound is a place everyone should visit several times in their life. It is noisy and energetic, full of a wide range of sound and musical cacophony.
“Theme From NARC” is a spy-theme for the nineties, performed Pixies style. It is reminiscent of the ’60s surf tunes (one of which was covered on their last album Bossanova) mixed with the cool feel of modern day James Bond. Again, rough guitars and throbbing bass over driving drum beats.
“Build High” is a countrified send-up, with harmonics added by Pixie queen Kim Deal. It bounces all over the stereo, like you’re riding a bucking bronco with the band. The added twangy vocals over the two-step beats and guitars make this song a real novelty.
The final track, “Evil Hearted You,” is more straightforward, with Black Francis singing in his second tongue, Spanish. His voice is soft and controlled over the acoustic guitars. If you played “Vamos” at one third the speed you’d end up with something akin to “Evil Hearted You.”
The Pixies continue to move forward in their musical legacy, improving on their former style and adding new brilliance to their recording career. Pick this one up in anticipation of the new album.
Warlock Pinchers – Circusized Peanuts
When this album starts off with the words of the Twin Peaks Giant saying, “It is happening again,” you get the ominous feeling that this could be the work of those madcap, wacky Satanist, Denver’s Warlock Pinchers.
Their third (and best) effort features the best-yet meld of hip-hop, hardcore, metal and industrial.
Though the five Pinchers are aiming their sights a little higher this time (no one song is devoted to offending the fanboys of shitheads like Morrissey), the songwriting is super, these boys have blossomed.
“Jesus on the Urinal Cake” reaffirms their calculated-to-offend spirits as does the exploitive, hurling, “Don’t Play This Song On The Radio,” “Meet Goatee Woatee” and “Introducing Ourselves” should serve as indoctrination into Pincher lore.
Best of all maybe “Electric Hoedown,” which involves around a syncopated cowbell drum pattern. Speaking of which, the spirit of Satan really is in their beatbox, I guess.
Neurotic and bulimic singer Karen Carpenter K-sum’s delivery has never been better, neither has the rest of the boy’s playing.
And while their version of Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl,” may not be as funny as their juvenile-y, “I Think We’re Tiffany,” this one’s a keeper.
All in all, this could be the indie winner of the year. If you don’t believe me, go to Hell and see what Beelzebub is listening to.
Celebrity Skin – Good Clean Fun
If good clean fun is what you’re looking for, that’s exactly what you’ll find on Celebrity Skin’s appropriately titled new release.
Blending pop-like guitar with catchy vocals, this album is the epitome of the word fun. Sounding a little like newer Red Kross, one might wonder whether or not the McDonald brothers actually wrote stuff on this album (funny that they were thanked too!).
Songs range from silly to sappy, with “Evicted,” “Evicted / we love to be evicted!” to “Introduction,” “Pull on the rope and reel you in / this tug-of-war no one can win / stop running away from me / together we’ll be free.” And, of course, the fun song of the whole shebang, “Hello,” where, yes “everyone’s gonna have some fun tonight.”
A good album to have in your collection, especially for all you depressed folk. Cheer up: Celebrity Skin is here to make you smile! And if you don’t like the music, at least you can look at the pictures and laugh!
Siouxsie and The Banshees – Superstition
After two long years, the Banshees have released Superstition, their twelfth album. It’s interesting to listen to their “progression” over the years. Quite obviously, the Banshees are going with the times.
The latest dance craze is what the Banshees are following on this album. Almost all the songs have the potential for a dance remix, excluding the slower songs.
Unlike older Banshees, where songs were based around guitar and vocal melodies, all songs on Superstition are synthesizer based, with underlying guitar. Not very fulfilling when compared to greats such as JuJu. More than once I notice a nice little Depeche Mode sound, and I was not pleased.
Siouxsie does seem to be concentrating on a lot more on her voice nowadays than in the past, and I will say that she has improved immensely. Most of the melodies are a little difficult to get used to, but if concentrating solely on the vocals, they sound pretty good. I especially like the quality Siouxsie’s developed in her voice over the years.
Parts of the album seem almost reminiscent of older Banshees, such as Hyaena. But the single, “Kiss Them For Me,” has to be the worst song on the album. Sounds like Siouxsie wants to be the next Madonna (and looks like it too, if you’ve seen the video). Fortunately, it’s the only lousy song on the album.
So, for all you ancient Siouxsie fans, go out and get this one. It might take a while to get used to, but this one will grow on you.
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