Volume 91, Issue 51

Thursday, November 27, 1997

Mike the Knife


C.D. reviews

Spice Girls
Spice World

"Slam it to the left if you're having a good time. Shake it to the right if you know that you feel fine." If you didn't know the Spice Girls have released a new album, you either have no connection to the outside world or are trying really hard not to notice. Either way it's here – so if you want to "Spice Up Your Life," grab a Columbia House order form and wait patiently for the mail strike to end.

Most guys like the Spice Girls for their deep and socially relevant videos, while the ladies like the Spice Girls for... well... the guys like the videos. Either way, everybody loves the new album except for Sweden – to whom Virgin tried to sell the album at a low, low wholesale price of $24 a copy – a price that would force them to sell it at $33 to break even.

With this album release coming only one year after their first, the band has had time to explore the depths of their songmaking innards to release a powerful album of introspective social commentary. Actually, the album is a clone of the first, produced to the nines and completely brain dead. It is irrelevant (apart from being a conversational aid), a money maker and Top-40 bar mainstay.

Predicted hit singles: "Stop," "Too Much," "Never Give Up On The Good Times" and "Move Over"(the Pepsi theme song). Or just wait and see which songs the producers decide to make hits.

–Mark Lewandowski

The Ed Herman Band
Better Than The Beatels

With an album titled Better than the Beatels that depicts Beavis and Butt-head-influenced self-portraits on the cover, one might think the music of The Ed Herman Band would be a little strange, but it isn't. In fact, the only thing which might set the music of Thorsten and Mirco Walther apart from any other garage-folk-rock band is they already have two fan clubs – one in Thunder Bay and the other, surprisingly, in Germany.

Thorsten and Mirco are two angry guys. Their songs spew anger and epitomize teenage angst and frustration. Laced with tormented-boy lyrics, long intervals of guitar distortion and hoarse vocals, this mixture is intermittently interspersed with a guitar solo.

The track "Got" features Thorsten screaming, "I'd like to tell you/ I can't stand the sight of you/ Maybe that's just the way it is/ You don't like me too." Similarly, "Her Mania" is 38 seconds worth of a fiery argument between the two band members and "Days Go By" expresses Thorsten's desire to become a horse and go "far, far away."

At the other extreme, "Beyond My Wildest Dreams" is a song in which Thorsten finally gets in touch with his inner self, with lyrics sung in a manner not unlike Neil Young's Harvest Moon.

However, no track is able to make its mark amid the jangly stew of harmonicas, guitars and percussion. The Ed Herman Band's music leaves much room for originality and creativity. If its music doesn't propel the band to fame – will the fan clubs do the job?

–Vivien Cheng

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997