Volume 91, Issue 53

Tuesday, December 2, 1997



Trippin' on sombre sounds


In the latter half of the '90s, the formula for a rock band's musical success includes the use of a talented female lead singer with a distinctive accent. Junkster is the latest band to emerge with hopes of capitalizing on this trend.

The Dublin-based quintet's self-titled album does not break new musical ground, but rather establishes itself as a powerful divergent strain on the currently popular mellow-rocker forefront. The album falls on the musical spectrum somewhere between The Cranberries and Garbage. Deirdre O'Neill's seductively sombre voice is best utilized on the track "Slide," which melds potent lyrics with a hauntingly introspective melody.

Although the band has been marketed primarily to a dance audience, the underlying sombre tone of the music cannot be ignored. When O'Neill sings "I feel like I've got a touch of November in my bones," one gets the distinct impression these songs are intended to be meaningful and can not be dismissed as generic pop tunes. With a strong sense of integrity, the band should be able to carve out its own distinct niche in the realm of fringe pop rock.
–Rod Refcio

Dr. John

Trippin' Live
True North/Universal Music

It's hard to believe this is the first live album from Dr. John (aka. Mac Rebennack) after more than 40 years in the business.

Acquaintances to his music may know his early '70s hit, "Right Place, Wrong Time," but Dr. John is also the most famous ambassador of New Orléans music, continuing the legacy started by piano greats Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and Huey Smith through to Allen Touissant. The music of the Crescent City has always been an undefinable gumbo of blues, R&B and funk, as well as drawing influences from the Caribbean and Africa.

This live date from Ronnie Scott's premier jazz club in London, England shows the doctor and his band in fine form and stretching out on standards like "Tiptinia," and "Goodnight Irene" along with originals like "Right Place" and "Wild Honey."

Perhaps tired of his image as the voodoo gris-gris Nighttripper, Dr. John sadly omits "Walking on Guilded Splinters." Nonetheless, if this album doesn't make you dream of taking a stroll along Bourbon Street and partying during Mardi Gras, nothing will.
–Richard Moule

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998