Slashing and burning through this week’s plethora of new singles – special guest Richey James of the Manic Street Preachers! Not cutting so much of a dash is our host, Jason Arnopp! Takie it away boyos!...
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS 'Plush (Edit)' (East West)
Second single from the Core' LP. Dead And Bloated' would've been better.
Richey: 'It sounds very derivative of Pearl Jam, in the same way that Pearl Jam are derivative of the best bits of Zeppelin. This doesn't stand out as a song - Sex Type Thing was twice what this is. Plush' is a strange title - it's an edit as well, so fuck knows how long the actual record is...'
KERBDOG 'Earthworks' (Vertigo)
Fine debut from the Dublin kids who know a Metallica/Seattle crossover opportunity when they play one. Big riffs, big potential. Richey: "Seattle has embraced Dublin drink culture! I liked it - it's always good to have British bands around. I don't mind if it's derivative... all bands are derivative. The vocals are a bit Chris Cornell, but it sounds fantastic, considering how young they are. Our first record was the biggest piece of shit you're ever gonna hear in your life!
"U2 discovered Dance; Kerbdog discovered Seattle. It seems a little suspicious, but good luck to 'em!"
ATR ‘ATR’ (Vertigo)
Their name was once Atari Teenage Riot, they're out to get the Fascists in their native Germany. Great image; all they need is better Techno Rock to back it up.
Richey: "It's a very good name. I think that bands who try to write traditional, Bob Dylan-esque lyrics are really outdated. The people of our generation only understand soundbite slogans.
"I'm not convinced by the music - it's Techno-by-numbers. Sheep On Drugs do it better."
4 NON BLONDES 'What's Up?' (Interscope)
Catchy little acoustic ballad, sung with delicate high notes and the odd spurt of balls. 4 Non Blondes (there's 4 of 'em, and none are blondes) have the basics to become altogether more prominent.
Richey: "A pleasant enough song. Not the sort of thing that I'd be ever interested in. If you make traditional music like they do, or we do, you've gotta try and do something different.
"Don't know what the name means. Maybe they've got something against people who dye their hair.I think everyone should do it - it's means you realise you're fake, and you're unhappy with your image."
CNN 'Young, Stupid And White' (Rhythm King)
New band from guitarist Tim Bricheno, former guitarist with All About Eve and Sisters Of Mercy. Reasonable, guitar-industrock. Richey: "If you hadn't told me who they used to be, I'd say this was a fuckin' excellent record.
But it seems too calculated for him to go from All About Eve to this. All About Eve used to sing about goblins, didn't they?
"It's like a bunch of 30-year-old men went into a boardroom and said, How can we sell ourselves to the younger generation?'"
NEW MODEL ARMY 'Living In The Rose - The Ballads EP' (Epic)
Touching lyrics, dull song.
Richey: "New Model Army remind me too much of growing up and not being part of a gang. Our school went through a lot of different phases; I never wanted to be part of the Crusty' thing that New Model Army started. "They've always seemed a little too cause-led, to me. Wanting to change things in dogmatic ways is very old-fashioned. They've got too many hang-ups, and this is one of their two types of song."
DIE CHEERLEADER '69 Hayloft Action EP' (Abstract)
Best EP title of the year, almost certainly. The A-side is Massive Tangled Muscle', a typically taut hulk of superbly raw emotion.
The B-sides are even better, though still not quite up there with the brilliant Saturation'. Richey: "Good name and good cover; with two men joined at the hip, eating a pig with 69' written on it. The record's obviously gonna pale in comparison. I've heard a lot about Die Cheerleader, and I know people who worship the ground they walk on. It seems like they can't quite live up to the hype..."
SPASM 'Meating Disorder EP' (World Serpent)
Disappointing couple of nondescript tunes, with Sam from Die Cheerleader making a guest appearance on the mike.
Richey: "Fantastic title - puts lots of connotations in your head; more than the music does. Die Cheerleader were better. She should stick to her day job!"
AC/DC 'Big Gun' (East West)
AC/DC'll never let you down. Nothing's changed, but you knew that anyway.
Richey: "The singer must smoke about 60 fags a day, and put sandpaper on his tongue! I thought this might be more radical, considering Rick Rubin produced it. It sounds good, but I expected something awesome. They're almost beyond criticism."
JOYRYDE 'Not A Hope In Hell' (Kill City)
Lively garage Rock, banging out some good riffs.
Richey: "All I know about them is that they wear dodgy Led Zep T-shirts in all their photo sessions. I don't know what they're trying to say... it's like something you do when you first start a band."
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
SENSER 'Eject' (Ultimate)
Murderous thrash Rap. One of the year's most jolting surprises. Hunt them down.
Richey: "Pick of the day - with production by Robin Evans, who did our early independent singles. They've got quite interesting politics, and they're doing a similar sort - of thing to Rage Against I The Machine, but in a more interesting way. 10 out of 10 - no, minus one for the flute player!"