Scotland - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 10 - 08/18/97
From being spinning our Lunar Jukebox, let's present a small handful of singles.
Three to be precise. Anyone for Scotch? The pride and hope of Northern Britain? And,
could this mean a hat-trick for Glasgow? Here we go!
: 4 Satin EP
Mogwai of Glasgow is for me a new band to become aquainted with. Though I've heard
the name before, I've never got to listen to any of their former recordings. This 3
song cd (also to be obtained on vinyl) EP is more like a mini album, almost stretching
up to a total of 30 minutes of playing time. Taking the name after that cuddly furball
from the Gremlins movie (?), I just wondered if this record should be kept far
from water? Or if I should avoid listening to it while eating after midnight? Well, I
went for that 3rd rule, as I drew the curtains and put out the lights in my living room,
to make sure there wasn't any bright light or beams of sun around. PLAY.
Hmm. Interesting. The Scottish quartet presents some spacy, ambient-like stuff. But quite
organic sounding, with nice and elegant guitars, and - thanks! - some human drumming.
The first tune, Superheroes Of BMX, reminds me partly of the music from the TV-
series Twin Peaks. On song 2, Now You're Taken, there are even some small vocal
parts. But the lyrics aren't easy to get, as the spoken word pieces of fragmeted lyrics
lay a bit deep into the soundscapes. The final cut, Stereodee is the real blasting
take-off. It starts off in a slight mid-tempo manner, with jangly, fuzzy guitars like a
mixture of indie-pop and late 60s Pink Floyd, launching a 10 minute sonic inferno. A wild
ride throughout some distant galaxy. Interstellar over-overdrive, indeed. Set the controls
for the heart of deep space...
Mogwai is presented by Chemikal Underground Records - "The best thing to come out of
Glasgow since big ships"(!) Other bands of the C.U.R stable include Bis, Arab Strap, The
Delgados and Magoo. Are we witnessing sort of a new wave to come out of Scotland?
Nevertheless, I recommend you to check out Mogwai's 4 Satin EP. And also their back-catalouge.
At least I will.
: Fake Fur
Urusei Yatsura formed in early '93. Based in Glasgow the three boys and one girl made
their album debut, We Are Urusei Yatsura, last spring, on the London label Ché.
Ché was formed in the early 90s (by the band Disco Inferno; who released some singles
and one album, before being picked up by Rough Trade and finally split after two more
albums) and they were the ones to discover The Tindersticks, and are today housing bands
such as Dart, The Bardots, Magic Hour, 18th Dye, Lilys plus others.
Back to Urusei Yatsura, the band with the strange and exotic (to us
Europeans) name. Named after a Japanese cartoon series, created by one Rumiko Takahashi
in the late 70s (as comic books, later to become TV-series). Urusei Yatsura can mean something like
"noisy star guys", or "annoying fellows from planet Uru", or even "those obnoxious aliens".
Yep, space, noise and aliens seems to be their fascination and influence. ...6-5-4-3-2-1-Zero!
Fake Fur, being the a-side of this single, is a noisy pop-song of indie-rock style.
Presenting fuzzy guitars and somewhat slack, life-weary vocals. They could've been a band of
the American underground; I think they've something in common with the Sonic Youth proteges
St.Johnny (or even with Sonic Youth themselves). The flip-side, Silver Krest, sounds
a bit more like Pavement, with its more tacky arrangement. Well, I think I prefer the b-side,
as I'm being an incorrigible fan of The Wedding Present...
Charming and catchy, fair enough, but I don't get that excited.
: Avoid Freud
Yet another Glasgow-band, and yet another four-some. And even more songs about space, or
beyond. What's going on in Glasgow these days? This is the second single from Meth O.D.
(their first single was called Cyberbilly), containing four songs, of
which two are 4-track recordings. Lo-fi, yes. Even the sleeve is cheaply xeroxed. Avoid
Freud, hmm? Non-psycological stuff, eh?
According to Chamber Studios/Jon Bains of
Obsolete this is what they sound like:
"Imagine Iggy playing Harvey Keitel. Dick Dale brought up in Glasgow on a sordid diet of
Jellies, Russ Meyer movies and cheap bourbon. Jon Spencer fronting the Stooges. Meth O.D.
- some bastard sleazy Tarantino soundtrack, weird & wired, a Primeval swampy blues, a garage
/punk road movie, run out of gas. NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED..."
dBug Now is two minutes of bouncing, up-beat power-pop. Not breathtaking, but quite OK.
Mindmaster, the second tune on the a-side, is a weird one. An odd 1 1/2 minute instrumental
weirdo. Imagine Ennio Morricone-on-acid doing the soundtrack for a space-spaghetti Western:
"A Fistful Of Astros" or something like that. Hilarious! (Hey, try playing it on 33 1/3 !) Side 2
starts with another short and quirky instrumental, Return Of The Dreaded Spaceship, which
sounds, ...uh, exactly like its title. Funny, and only 1 min 5 secs long. Then we get the raw and
aggressive Bastard Tarantino, which sounds like a young Captain Beefheart mixed with Sonic
Youth in some devilish space-psycho, and quite appealing, too. It's probably a killer live.
And, yes; I'm easily charmed when it comes to insulting the much overrated Quentin-dude... If they
do so, I'm not sure (it's difficult to get the lyrics). Anyway; Meth O.D.: consider me a
friend! Sci-fi-rock rules!
Induce Records, 21 Farndale Rd., Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 0NY, UK
Copyright © 1997 Håvard Oppøyen