Reviewed this fortnight by ASIA vocalist JOHN PAYNE and MANIC STREET PREACHERS' guitarist RICHEY JAMES, plus our own DAVE LING...
RICHEY: Rollins, the man, is always more interesting than his music. I’d go along with most of his sentiments, but it wasn't a brilliant song.
JOHN: Er, great bassline!
DAVE: Surprisingly catchy chorus, Hank!
RICHEY: It's basically the explanation why all across the Western world we've got the most reactionary government of this century, it's because this generation are so obsessed with themselves. That was artists triumphing over art it said absolutely nothing and means nothing. It's just people obsessed with their own noisy world.
JOHN: I was completely lost if the window had been open I'd have jumped out. It was more of a soundscape than a song.
DAVE: Not exactly something you could tap your feet to, Godflesh continue to push the boundaries of extremism.
JOHN: They're an all-girl band, right? The singer had got a deeper voice than me! I couldn't imagine it on the radio, but it was enjoyable enough.
RICHEY: I always liked the idea of female groups, but whereas bands like The Slits used guitars as a form of liberation, L7 use them as another form of castration They don’t do anything for they just descend into the same grubby cesspits as most male groups.
DAVE: L7 are still combining Grunge with decent choruses. More power to 'em.
Brick Cat EP
RICHEY:' They're just another group who send along lots of information about themselves with the record, and who seem to think it's more important to have 25 different T-shirts out than writing a good song. A lot of contemporary music is like that, and it’s a bit loathsome really.
JOHN: I echo that. Where’s the song?
DAVE: The Edinburgh-based Funkateers try hard but combust in a dreadful heap on their debut five-tracker.
Nearly Lost You
JOHN: I quite liked the song, the Hendrix-y guitar pads were what won me over. Quite a pleasant little ditty.
RICHEY: I quite like the song, but the motives behind the film from which it's taken (Singles) are suspect, trying to turn the youth of the world into Stone Gossard!
DAVE: Lukewarm and predictable in the extreme.
THE BLACK CROWES
JOHN: They're one of the better retrospective Rock bands, you obviously know where their roots are.
RICHEY: I loved their first album and I liked a lot of the second one, but in their last interviews they look offence lo a lot of Rock, saying it wasn't original when neither are they! I found that so offensive that it's hard for me to judge the music.
DAVE: 'Sting Me' is from the latest LP, but you also get live acoustic versions of 'She Talks To Angels', Thorn In My Pride' and 'Darling Of The Underground Press' from Ronnie Scott’s VFM.
JOHN: I don’t I know anything about 'em but it was good. At the start it sounded like George Michael crossed with EMF, and then we realised we were playing it at the wrong speed!
RICHEY: Half the group want to be Troublefunk, and the singer has got sexual perversions towards Ugly Kid Joe. It didn't interest me.
DAVE: “Slides between Prince, Nine Inch Nails and the Chills)” claims the biography of these New Yorkers. Interesting.
STOMPER OF THE FORTNIGHT
Dirty Black Summer
JOHN: By far the best thing we've heard, really powerful. There was a great guitar hook and the vocals sounded like The Cult meets Billy Idol. A good song.
RICHEY: Yeah, loved it. To me it sounded like Ian Astbury if he'd carried on taking drugs instead of getting all purified in Los Angeles.
DAVE: This was Single Of The Fortnight back In RAW 100, but was delayed ‘til the band's imminent UK tour. It hasn't got any worse.
THE RAGGED BOYS
Rat Tat (Who Are You)
RICHEY: Yeah, complete crap.
DAVE: Spineless, depressing drivel. Bring back Little Angels!
MY LITTLE FUNHOUSE
RICHEY: I liked it except that too often he (Alan Lawlor) tried to go for the classic Metal voice. He’s only 16 or 17 and I'm sure he can do it without screeching away and dreaming of Jack Daniel’s!
JOHN: Or waiting ‘til the day he’s allowed to buy some Jack Daniel's! The production was good, but I got a bit lost after the guitar solo and the gap between the intro and the vocal starting was far too long.
DAVE: Yeah, one or two arrangement problems, but a good start all the same.
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
JOHN: 'Hysteria' was a real musical experience, but I wanted 'em to try something different with Adrenalize. They've just become too much of a corporate Rock band. Too homogenised, I'd have liked something more rootsy.
RICHEY: They bore me massively. They’re insensitive, crude, worthless maggots.
DAVE: On behalf of the 16 million people who bought 'Hysteria', let me just say... Manic Street who? Def Leopard fans have now saved the price of a stamp.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS
Theme From M.A.S.H. (Suicide Is Painless)
RICHEY: We did it for the Spastics Society. We were told we had to cover any Number One single of the last 30 years. We thought the lyrics were quite meaningful.
JOHN: It, difficult to review it with someone in the band sitting next to you, but it was one of the best things we heard today. It’s always been a great melody, and it still is.
DAVE: The best thing yet from the Manics. Probably because they didn't write it.
Who Will Stop The Rain?
JOHN: No way am I reviewing my own single.
RICHEY: Er, too adult and mature for me. I'm more of a Stooges fan.
DAVE: Single of the fortnight? Month?! Year?!! Asia are back, big time.