Volume 94, Issue 90
Tuesday, March 13, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Chillout to some laid back grooves
Chillout 2001 Volume 1
You get home from a bar or club and you're not ready for bed, but you can't handle anymore of the jackhammer hip hop or techno beats with which you've been barraged all night. Chillout 2001, with its collection of pleasantly laid-back sounds, might just make a suitable soundtrack to that kind of evening.
Opening with the normally bombastic Fatboy Slim's gently pulsating "The Weekend Starts Here," the album moves through a series of sophisticated, smooth tracks that are perfect for listening to while relaxing; without any danger of putting you to sleep. Only Dusted's "Always Remember To Respect And Honour Your Mother, Pt. 1," a misguided attempt at combining choral arrangements and dance beats, fails to entertain.
Much better are Supreme Beings Of Leisure's sublime "Ain't Got Nothin'" and "Finer" by Nightmares On Wax, which features oddly treated vocals and a bizarre backing loop.
Other highlights include the old-school German electro groove of Swayzak's "State Of Grace" and the gorgeous, trumpet-led "At The River" by Groove Armada, a song so accessible that it probably won't be long before it's being used to sell cars.
While there isn't anything included here that truly qualifies as transcendent, Chillout 2001 is a solid compilation that could certainly serve well as post-night out listening.
Aaron St. John
Manifest of Hate
Straight out of the over saturated Swedish metal scene comes The Forsaken's literal manifest of, well, hate.
Combining the intense fury of Hypocrisy, the songwriting of Arch Enemy and the musicianship of Cryptopsy, The Forsaken is clearly making hellish waves in the death metal scene. Quite simply, this record is pure malignity in music form.
Ever felt the unmitigated urge to beat someone senseless? Take that extreme aggression out by thrashing to "Betrayal Within Individuals." Do you sometimes want to pick up a large object and throw into a crowd of people? Inspiration for finding the suitable heavy rock or cement block for the job should come from "Dehumanized Perspective."
It's fury like The Forsaken's that keeps psychiatrists and the police in business.
The Fletcher Pratt
Nine by NineRainbow Quartz
Block out the negative images of the Detroit music scene. Eminem, Kid Rock and the even more obnoxious "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent have given the city a bad name, but The Fletcher Pratt are here to change that.
The Fletcher Pratt plays straight-ahead pop/rock reminiscent of the Beatles and Elvis Costello, without the rock star posturing. The twin guitar, singing/songwriting team of George Dubber and Stephen Palmer draw on a mid-60's sound, with catchy melodies and songs. Dubber and Palmer are no Lennon and McCartney, but they shouldn't be faulted for trying.
The Fletcher Pratt's full-length debut, Nine by Nine, showcases the band's abilities. The opening "Electrocute!" is two minutes of solid power-pop, whereas "Spin Label" kicks in with ringing lead lines over crunchy power chords and a driving rhythm section. FM radio doesn't know what it is missing with cuts like "Change" and "Lucy And The Train Back," which is very reminiscent of early Elvis Costello.
The band ends Nine by Nine with a popular 60s convention the medley. "Long Medley" consists of four linked tunes, brings the record to a happy ending and proves The Fletcher Pratt is a very able young band.
The Fletcher Pratt's music is refreshing even if they are from Detroit.
Clutch's appeal has always been a mystery. It's never been quite clear if Clutch is a humorous stoner-rock novelty act or a highly-respected Southern unit. Jam Room does nothing to clear up the confusion.
With a third of the songs clocking in at less than a minute and a half, the motivation for releasing Jam Room must be questioned. Why release an album if every time a song truly begins to rock, it abruptly ends? It's almost as if the songs represent some sort of joke the listener isn't in on.
Like most stoner-rock, Clutch's music is an amalgam of Free, Foghat and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Taking inspiration from these artists is fine but wearing said inspiration on your sleeve as a badge of honour is, at best, derivative.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000