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February 06, 1987 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-06
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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The latest Billy Idol Pshould.pleasehis fans

Billy Idol
"Whiplash Smile"'
It's been three years since thes
bleached blonde prince of punk-
gone-mainstream released his last
solo smash Rebel Yell. While other
mainstream idols (i.e., Prince and
Madonna) have drastically trimmed,
and polished their MTV-splattered
images, Idol is still shaking the
wrist, flaring the lip, and bearing
more crucifixes than a flea market
in the Bible Belt.
Musically Idol's Whiplash Smiler
is in the same vein as his previous
two solo outings: power pop with
punch that packs a wallop. Side
five (yeah, I'm sick of those cutsief
side labelings, too) opens with
"World's Forgotten Boy," a fiery
tune in which Idol snarls, "I'm a
rock and roll boy!" The rest of the
songs on Whiplash Smile go on to
prove that he ain't no liar. Idol
growls, yelps, and croons vig- 4
orously in his characteristic deep-i
throated style throughout the al-
Guitar star Steve Stevens' (Idol's
songwriting cohort) serrated guitarF
playing cuts through Keith (Psych-
edelic Furs' Mirror Moves ) slick'
production like Palmolive cuts
through grease. While Idol and Ste-
vens induce plenty of whiplash
there are a few ballads on this
record. Country music meets techno
pop in "Sweet Sixteen," a romantic
little ditty in which Idol melan-
cholically croons about a lost
teenage love set to a country and
western beat. Another ballad,
"Beyond Belief," is reminiscent of
"Eyes Without a Face" but has a
slightly sinister edge.
For the most part Whiplash Billy Idol, shown here at a 1982 Ann Arbor performance.
Smile is an all-out rocker. Billy
Idol fans won't be disappointed.
-Dana Mendelssohn
Touch and Go
The very mention of Madison,
Wisconsin's favorite horned toads ti
Killdozer is enough to send some
people into frenzied debates of the
sort usually reserved for seemingly
spicier issues as abortion, politics,
and the Long Island question. One a
camp reveres the trio as the
Midwest's finest (and only)
purveyors of slug rock, while the
other faction views them as nothing
short of the stuff you scrape off
your shoes after a walk through the
barnyard. Their new six song EP
won't do anything to silence either Music or manure? The members offKilldozer reside in Madison, Wisconsin.

set of critics, providing instead new
(methane) fuel for the fire.
What probably peeves most of
the band's detractors is the slow,
grinding pace of their songs. How
slow? Slower than my '73 Dodge
Dart Swinger (baby blue with rust
spots), which goes from 0-60
m.p.h. in 45 minutes. Slower than
the Alaskan glacial field, which
will have pushed/pulled us a couple
hundred inches closerhto beinga
Siberian suburb by the time side
two rollssaround. So slow that a
guy down the hall from me played
three of the five records in the
Springsteen boxed set before this
mini-LP finished spinning..
Okay, they're slow, but what do
they sound like? Like Black
Sabbath if they'd been abused as
children. Like the Birthday Party
after you get them real, real drunk
and kick the living shit out of
them. Like ZZ Top when they were
hungry, before MTV exposure of
their neo-Hasidic beards made them
international sex symbols. Lead
singer Michael Gerald sounds as if
he's either been drinking the waters
of Nick Cave's well too long or
somebody put corrosive acid in his
morning gargle. On "Cranberries,"
his vocal mannerisms tend to sound
like the immortal Arnold Ziffel,
while on "I'm Not Lisa," they add
to the dismemberment of Jessie
Colter's tune, following in the
tradition of their venal versions of
"Sweet Home Alabama," "Cinna-
mon Girl," and "La Grange."
Still, it's a song like
"Hamburger Martyr" that stirs the
embers of the Killdozer debate.
Either you will find Gerald's
observations about life inside a
greasy spoon to be either as great as
processed fruit pellets or dumber
than anything since that Harlem
Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island
reunion film that CBS tried to
spring on us about five years ago (I
tend to lean towards the latter). At
their best, like "Hottentot," the
combination of Gerald's third grade
rhetoric with Bill Hobson's third
degree burning guitar kicks like a
bull being attacked by hornets,
throwing his horns into the air and
breathing fire. At their worst,
Killdozer are like cow-tipping:
dumb, real dumb.
-Mike Rubin
The Membranes
"Songs of Love and Fury"
The press hype for this British
trio-and-then-some compares them
to "pre-Brix Fall and pre-Hank
See MUSIC, Page 9

Continued from Page 8
kids out there who are scientif -
ically-minded, and aren't too
impressed by these examples, but
knowledge-accumulation isn't
enough for College Bowl. One
must be fast, to beat the other team
to the buzzer, and Chuck, in ad -
dition to being able to call upon a
vast range of weird facts, is able to
do so very quickly. And that's one
of the keys to his success.
But, that having been said, I feel
good, and I'm sure that Don and
Steve feel good, because each of us
was able to answer things that
Chuck didn't. As good as Chuck is,
he couldn't have done as well as he
did this year with mannequins for
teammates. Teams like the Illum -

inati, and the Buzzerds, an
impossibly fast group who came
within a question of beating us,
made team effort important.
Though Chuck is largely respon -
sible for our undefeated finish, and
our current status as the Univer -
sity's College Bowl Champs, we
On our team, the Shinkmen
(named after Chuck's most irrita -
ting opponent in the Jeopardy
tournament, Marvin Shinkman)
Chuck Forrest was the quarterback,
no question about it, but I threw a
few blocks, caught a couple passes,
and in the match against the
Buzzerds, I may even have come as
close as I ever will to making an
important field goal. My name is
Logie-boy, my buzzer's never
muffled, and I'm just here to do the
College Bowl Shuffle.

Continued from Page 8
M: There will be lots of subtle
shiftings to where enrollment goes,
which of the activities at the
University society puts a high
value on. I think that if the
University continues to make good
on what it aspires to do as an
institution, I think that our basic
sciences, particularly chemistry and
physics,will indeed see a long
period of growth in quality and the
overused phrase around here is
D: What makes the university
computer system unique from what
exists at other institutions?
M: I think that this university has
a very special combination of

decentralization and centralization.
The institution draws a lot of its
strength from leaving a tremendous
part of the intellectual curiosity, the
direction setting, the innovation
down at the schools and colleges
and departmental levels. The
vitality that comes out of the
excellent faculty here drives this
place rapidly into new areas. That
decentralization is a very important
part of the University. At the same
time, in order to get the maximum
advantage from what's happening in
information technology, you really
want a coherence and an overall
central effort.
That's happening because of the
unique history here starting with
the computing center's work on
MTS and the MERIT networking
activity, the notion of people all

Continued from Page 4
Williams Mekons," two of my
absolute favorite purveyors of
chinkety-chinkety bingomaster hex-
pop. The band is a long-time
stalwart of the British independent
scene, where the only worthwhile
music of the U.K. is made (as
opposed to the scores of new
British bands touted as the Next Big
Thing that get immediately snapped
up by major labels and turn out
albums of derivative drivel that are
lapped up by "new music" fans here
in the colonies as the second
coming, ie., Jesus and Mary Chain,
the Mighty Lemon Drops, New
Model Army, ad nauseum).-
This album features song titles
like "Postdetergent Vacuum Cleaner
Man," "Everyone's Going Triple
Bad Acid, Yeah," "The Elvis I
Knew Was No Junkie," and
"Phoney T.V. Repair Man." With
all these factors, this record should
sound like a gem and cut like a
diamond. So why does Songs of
Love andFury have less teeth than
Leon Spinks?
For starters, where's the guitar?
The older Membranes' material that
I've laid my ears on was practically
bursting with ferocious feedback,
but here, the pyrotechnics that
should provide the power and
propulsion are either non-existent
or muddled in the mix. It's not the
vocals that have buried the guitar
either, since they are M.I.A. as
well. The lyrics to songs like those
listed above should make for some
enjoyable listening, but good luck
trying to hear them, as they
disappear somewhere into the foggy
zone between Mark Tilton's
annoying voice and the studio
This album isn't complete
frisbee material, but it certainly
doesn't compare to the Fall (either
pre- or post- Brix), who have carved
out a consistent career of excellence
by utilizing a small handful of

chords better than the Membranes
use a full range. "Big Fun Tonight"
and "Spaceships" are catchy enough
tunes, but a song called
"Sleazeball" should be dripping
with power-chord grunge, and the
Membranes' just don't provide.
Instead of sonic slime that scalds
and scorches, all this album
provides is mediocre membranous
mucous. Yuck.
-Mike Rubin
Soul Asylum
"While You Were Out"
This one's a head-scratcher.
The third LP from Minneapolis'
second generation independent label
thrash popsters, Soul Asylum,
possesses several of the endearing
qualities found on their fine, fine,
fine previous effort, Made to Be
Broken (great hooks enmeshed
within gut-wrenching guitar, sim -
imering stiletto speed, hoarse-
throated hummability, etc.). What
it lacks, as did its predecessor, is
someone spinning the dials in the
studio who can capture (but not
castrate) their sound.
Made to Be Broken's production
reeked of head-Husker dude Bob
Mould; While You Were Out's
production just reeks. Broken's
tracks crackled with feedback fuzz
that seemed to come from the fat
man himself; as a result, the tunes
were trapped behind the wall of
noise and had to kick like hell to
bust out.
Out's offerings aren't just
confined, they're smothered. On the
first few listens the songs all run
together with only the fine, fine,
fine "Closer to the Stars" leaping
off the platter and into the heavens.
(Well, the Janis Joplinesque - yes,
Janis - blues number "Passing
Said Daydream" stood out, too, but
less for its excellence than for its


Soul Asylum, clockwise from.
Mueller and Dave Pirner.

left: Dan Murphy, Grant Young, Karl


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