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(June 28, 2000)
Originally Published: June 28, 2000
I Disappear (Hollywood)
From the soundtrack of "Mission Impossible 2" comes the same blend of grunts and riffs that we've heard a hundred times before. If it's representative of the film, expect Tom Cruise to half-heartedly try and save the girl, before getting bored and stumbling off to play pool with a load of mates.
"If I were driving in my car, I wouldn't go like that (Mimes twisting volume control). It just drones on. It sounds a lot like their other stuff, except there's no pay-off - there's no real chorus. The guys aren't good friends of mine. I can speak about them as people or musicians and I don't think they'd take it personally when I say that's not their best record." 3/5
As Alice's eye shut slowly, it looks like the inevitable has happened and we've actually killed one of our celebrity reviewers. That it should be this charming, understated slice of guitar pleasantness that sends the wild man of rock into a near-coma is a cruel irony.
"Songs like this - unless they slam you with something - don't really go anywhere. This sets you up with something big, but again it doesn't pay off. This is just a bunch of college dudes sitting around drinking coffee going, 'Ooooh yellow'. Pseudo-intellectual art-pop. 2.5/5
I Can't Get You Out Of My Thoughts (Good Behaviour)
A HUGE step forward from "Everything", the Dum Dums pick their tune, tear its throat out and proudly drop its twitching body in the lap of a disgusted chart. There's still plenty of gristle, but in a world full of leftovers, this, at least, is fresh meat of a sort.
"(Immediately) I love this! Green Day started this kind of simplistic vocal against big, open beat and it really worked cool. You can tell there's some Beatles influence there and that's good. Everybody everywhere still wants to be able to write a big Sixties hit. Hey, I'd still like to write a big Sixties hit!" 4/5
Ready To Receive (Boiler House)
HEAR the background hum of the cyberdome - where The Animalhouse train robots so sophisticated that even Alice can't tell that this 21st-century, Ride-meets-Oasis-meets-The Chemical Brothers riffage is probably even more computer reliant than Deejay Punk-Roc.
"This is the first real band I've heard. You can tell straight away that they actually go out and play shows. They're a bunch of guys who practise in their garage - this is good. This is the only rock 'n' roll record I've heard, so far." 4/5
This Time Around (Mercury)
Sounding like a bloodless Toploader, flaunting their gospel choir like it's some kind of status symbol, Hanson plunge deeper into nauseating, soft-rock hell.
"'MMMBop' was a great record. None of the metal guys were supposed to like that song. Everybody liked that song. But I don't like this at all. He's getting older, he says, and he must be - what, 17? My boots are older than that! It's always the same - your voice changes, you get half an idea in your head and you think you should take everything so seriously! It's like they've become self-conscious about being Hanson." 2/5
Open Arms (Mushroom)
Looming, sturdy but unimposing, like the bouncer at a provincial indie disco, this is not the best moment of Wilt's "Bastinado" album. It's the kind of grainy Americana that Buffalo Tom used to knock out in their sleep. Pleasant, but slightly unnecessary.
"It's amazing how some guys come up with names that just make you go (shrugs shoulders). This could have been good. The guy wakes up with a girl and doesn't know how she got there, what happened last night, and you've got a good idea for a song. Then all of a sudden it goes real general about some horrible experience in their lives. Now I don't care! Wilt is a very good name for them. Maybe they peaked a long time ago and now they've wilted." 2/5
Distorted Ghost EP (Odeon)
On their day, one of the most moving bands on the planet, alt-country weirdniks Sparklehorse aren't doing themselves any favours here with this previously unavailable mish-mash EP or reissues and live versions. Don't they realize their obsessive fans like tracking down rarities and paying a fortune for them?
"I like this - it sounds a little bit like Ben Folds Five. His voice is really very subtle. You can tell that it comes from the heart. If that other band [Coldplay] had played this, they would probably have played it much more tentatively. This guy sounds like he actually means what he's saying. He nearly died a while back? I wouldn't be surprised if it was during the vocal of that song, by the sound of it! But it's good." 4/5
The High Fidelity
Every summer of love leaves behind a few die-hards who love on when everybody else has gone home. After the Sixties there were still hippies and after baggy there was still... Sean Dickson. The mainmain of The Soup Dragons continues to turn out underrated, sweetly effervescent psychedelia.
"This, I'm pretty indifferent to, which could be worse. Ninety percent of music out there is terrible, because anybody can make record. Where are the 'Yesterday's and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water's of this era? Is it just gonna be Ricky Martin that people listen to in 50 years time? I mean I love that song ['Livin' La Vida Loca'], but really. The best you can say about this one is that it hasn't made my headache any worse." 3/5
Ol' Dirty Bastard
Got Your Money (East West)
Equal parts vile misogyny, distinctive rap and blindingly catchy pop tune, the similarities between this and some of Eminem's work are obvious. Whether anyone could believe ODB if he ran the "fictional character" defence is another matter.
"He's another pimp, right? (sighs) Like I need to hear about another black pimp who's gonna slap down his bitch if she doesn't show up with the money. I like the girl, she's the best part of the song - they could take that part of the song and make into something completely different." 3/5
Big Pimpin' (Roc-A-Fella)
"Big Pimpin'!" What a load of toss. Where Eminem gets by with a kind of cartoonish hyper-realism and ODB genuinely doesn't give a fuck, Jay-Z just slaps out a weedily kitsch sample (again) and mutters incoherently over the top (again). Can he get away with this kind of thing for ever?
"My daughter would love this, but I've heard this thing 18 million times. This is another guy talking about his lifestyle. I just don't care about these guys' lifestyle. It's like if I brought out a song about how I got up in the morning, and went to play golf. How exciting would that be! I slapped down my bitch and then I played tennis. On my car. Cos I got one!" 1/5
The Real Slim Shady (Polydor)
Where does Marshall Mathers end and Slim Shady begin? They're both premenently angry and bitter. They both have problems with their mothers. And, although the song doesn't begin to answer that question, one of both of them is a demon songwriter. If a good tune is like a virus, then this, another brilliantly sniveling rant, is pure Ebola.
"Eminem is the only guy for me in this whole rap department, because he's got a great sense of humour. The whole thing isn't about how big his wiener is, or how big his car is. He's created his own kind of world and he's got respect from the black and the white guys. I love this record. I think the guy's found something in the hip-hop thing that fits him and he's being honest to himself and he's making really funny records." 5/5
One More Bump (Independiente/Airdog)
Like a less wacky Bentley Rhythm Ace, the Deejay presses the button marked funk and puts his feet up, as his little robo-helper mashes up the dance floor in a brutal style. Or something like that.
"Is the name of this band Apple Machintosh? This song's never seen a human being, right? I would like to try and find some kind of computer virus to kill this song. I can't tell you how much this sucks. There's a shop in LA where they play this kind of thing on a loop and they sell great clothes in there, but I had to stand outside and say, "I'll come in if you turn it down. Or put a song on." 0/5