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coverpic flag England - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 12 - 10/16/97

Hurricane #1
Hurricane #1
Creation Records

This year I've realised that I buy records even when I don't find the music particularly appealing. I have an absurd artist loyalty; if a record hits the spot for me, I'll buy everything that artist does for years to come, regardless of quality.

I've done it this year with The Seahorses, who have good tunes, but hardly excite. I would probably hate them if I didn't know the guitarist was John Squire, formerly of the Stone Roses.

It's the same loyalty that has filled my record collection with singles by Hurricane #1, the new band formed by ex-Ride member Andy Bell. Luckily, they're pretty good!

They've just released their debut, eponymously titled album. It's not too far removed musically from the last two Ride albums (Carnival Of Light and Tarantula), but seems to have more purpose. A lot of this is due to Glaswegian vocalist Alex Lowe - a far more abrasive, 'in your face' voice compared to the softer, reflective vocals of Bell / Mark Gardener in Ride.

Hurricane #1 have been criticised in the British press for making safe, predictable guitar music for the post-Oasis generation, and the records are certainly more accessible than the My Bloody Valentine, 'shoegazing' sound of the early Ride records. And when the first three tracks of the album are as good as they are on Hurricane #1, innovation doesn't seem so important.

The first thirty seconds of album opener Just Another Illusion is as good as any intro this year. Funky wah-wah guitar and a lick that sounds like some 70's US cop show lead into a top tune. Excellent. This is followed by Faces In A Dream and the single Step Into My World.

After such a top start, the album rather tails off. By the time of the last song Stand In Line, we really are in sub-Oasis / Beatles territory. A truly hideous tune.

This isn't an album which is going to achieve the commercial and artistic plaudits awarded to other British bands such as The Verve or Radiohead, who have released astonishing records this year. And, Hurricane #1 are not the best new band of the year (Embrace win that contest easily), but there is enough here to make it worthwhile checking them out.

Copyright © 1997 Craig Scrogie e-mail address

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