Stuart Maconie reviews Bona Drag by Morrissey, 20th October 1990

Stuart Maconie reviews Bona Drag by Morrissey, 20th October 1990.

Can’t say I agree with this positive, yet workmanlike review from Maconie. Morrissey was coming up short in the lyric dept. with increasing frequency even during The Smiths and post Viva Hate has bluffed it ever since.

Yet with the breakup of the Smiths still fairly recent in 1990, the starving demanded to be fed, unfortunately there was nothing left on the menu except gruel. Viva Hate had its morsels, Suedehead in particular, but without the foundation of Marr’s compositions and his sublime guitar work, the cracks in Morrissey’s irrelevant lyrics just became more and more apparent. With Bona Drag, Morrissey’s long, slow slide into irrelevance began. It pains me more than you realise that it still continues to this day.

But I will stick up for November Spawned A Monster, which I think of as the last great thing Morrissey wrote. Maconie dislikes it because it’s “so morbid and cheerless” Duh! That’s precisely why I like it. I can empathise with it. Sure it lacks wit and is dressed up in a touch too much metaphor but he’s singing to us, for us, the ugly and marginalized here, instead of prattling on about bloody Ouija boards and the like.

If all this just makes you want to listen to The Smiths, and it really should, then why not break out the old records for another spin and while you’re at it read Taylor Parkes latest retrospective piece on The Smiths over at The Quietus.

Note to self: Do not explicitly refer to a TV programme title that could be misconstrued, especially in conjunction with the sexualised use of the F word, if you do not want lots of people coming to your blog for all the wrong reasons.

Note to Pin-Up Nights: Thanks! You flatter me, but you really shouldn’t encourage me.

I spent a few days with some Glaswegians recently.

“What’s the difference between Glasgow and Edinburgh?”

“Well, Glasgow is a lot friendlier but you’re also much more likely to get stabbed”

Jennifer Nine reviews The Bends by Radiohead, 11th March 1995

Jennifer Nine reviews The Bends by Radiohead, 11th March 1995.

So here’s the Radiohead review I referred to in the previous post on Gene. You won’t catch Thom posing like this these days so lap it up Radiohead fans. Look at that belly button….phwooorrrrhhhh!

I don’t know how long or how many listens a typical record reviewer gets but probably not much. So fair play to Jennifer Nine for calling it on this. I resisted this record for so long. I just thought of Radiohead as major label bandwagon jumpers that had joined the party far too late. But by this time I’d started working and was subject to the communal musical tastes of my co-workers. So The Bends slowly ground me down, little by little, track by track.

These days I’ll begrudgingly admit to it being a quite good even though I still think the lyrics are impenetrable nonsense.

More C4 hypocrisy tonight with a teenager being cajoled into having vaginal cosmetic surgery in Embarrassing Teenage Bodies only a few weeks after Dawn Porter’s Lisa Roger’s C4 documentary/polemic about about the ‘growing epidemic’ and pointless stupidity of genital plastic surgery.

———

Thanks to Richard for leaving a comment pointing out my error in initially identifying Dawn Porter and not Lisa Rodgers as the presenter of The Perfect Vagina.

Bookmark and Share

simon-price-reviews-olympian-by-gene-11th-march-1995

Simon Price reviews Olympian by Gene, 11th March 1995.

Final part of the Gene trilogy. Posted this more because of the contrasting ‘importance’ implicit in the treatment Gene get here (full page colour review by Price) compared to Jennifer Nine’s review of The Bends by Radiohead (black and white, shared review etc.)

And this despite the fact that using MM’s own clumsy star rating Gene comes out as just ‘Recommended’ compared to Radiohead’s ‘Bloody Essential’

I don’t know if this simply testament to the fact that Radiohead weren’t that important back then or if it’s proof of some MM or record company agenda to break Gene.

Bookmark and Share

Melody Maker top 30 albums of the year, 1988

Good to see the back of 1987.

And skipping forward 12 months here’s the end of 1988 too. All these end of year lists are available in text form at Rocklist although you don’t get the little capsule reviews.

Bookmark and Share

Simon Reynolds reviews A Gilded Eternity by Loop 20th January 1990

Simon Reynolds reviews A Gilded Eternity by Loop. Taken from Melody Maker, 20th January 1990.

This for Andre who left a comment recently. Not sure I have any interviews Andre and this isn’t exactly Loop’s finest hour but hope it’s better than nothing. Sad to reflect on the countless bands over the years you could apply Reynolds opening sentence from this review to- “It’s clear now that [band] peaked with their magnificent brace of EP’s in [date]”.

Not now though. I miss the EP. It gave bands a chance to develop in a way they don’t have now. Never got into Loop personally. Probably in no small part because I didn’t spend my late teenage years in a permanent fug of marijuana smoke which did seem to be an obligatory requirement at the time. And besides, Loop always played second psychedelic fiddle to Spacemen 3 – sorry Loop fans.

Elsewhere Bob Stanley reviews Opal and also fails to pump up Technotronic’s jam. Simon Patrick reviews Ozma, an early Melvins release, a band still going strong in 2008! Push reviews Divine Styler and In Goth Daze – lucky him! Finally Ian McGregor reviews The Corn Dollies, Wrecked.

Bookmark and Share

Bob Stanley reviews The Pixies Bossanova, 11th August 1990

Bob Stanley reviews The Pixies Bossanova. Taken from Melody Maker, 11th August 1990.

Another first, this time from Bob Stanley. I reckon he gets the review pretty much spot on. When this came out there was a sense of disappointment. It’s still a great record but it felt a bit limp and all the rough edges had been sanded down. The Happening is the standout track on this album for me.

Sorry about the top left cover rip. No idea why I ripped it. My only excuse is that I went to art college. It makes for quite a funny juxtaposition as the Boo-Yaa dude seems to be looking down with total disgust on pasty Charles Francis and chums.


Bookmark and Share

Neil Kulkarni reviews Tarantula by Ride, 9th March 1996

On the subject of demise here’s Ride’s swansong Tarantula reviewed by Neil Kulkarni.

Poor old Ride. By this stage no one gave a shit about this band and yet for a few brief months no other band came close to how sublime Ride were. I mean just look at Mark Gardner in this photo. I’d have hacked off my right arm to have looked like this when I was 19. I’ll admit to being one of those unhip kids who wore a Ride T-Shirt but I don’t think it ever helped me score. Girls or drugs. Not surprising really. Ride did become uncool very, very quickly. And the lyrics were awful. Somehow they worked on the first EP’s, but then I think they started forcing the lyrics and it’ll all became toe curlingly Oasis-like.

I know *no one* will agree with me but it would be my contention that those early Ride EP’s paved the way for the mainstream success My Bloody Valentine went on to have with Loveless. The poppier, younger, painfully beautiful Ride bridged the gap from where MBV were to the charts by helping to create a musical climate where noise was accepted by the more conservative record buyer. Anyone back me up on this? Thought not.

Bookmark and Share