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April 18, 1995 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-18

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14 -The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 18, 1995
Faces still set the pace for rockers

By Thomas Crowley
Daily Arts Writer
Once upon a time, long before
Rod Stewart embarked on his jaunt
down the road of decadence at a much
swifter rate than contemporaries like
kcond

a

Eric Clapton and Elton John, he sang
for a rock 'n'. roll band called the
Faces and to put it quite simply, they
rocked.
In 1969, Steve Marriott, singer
and guitarist for the London mod-
rock outfit the Small Faces, left mem-
bers Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane and
Kenny Jones to form Humble Pie.
Though the Small Faces had turned
out some intriguing psychedelia in
their time, in the wake of Marriott's
departure, they teamed up with Jeff
Beck Group expatriates Stewart and
guitarist Ron Wood, in turn redefin-
ing themselves through the Faces as a
bluesy, sporting bunch of rogues.
Now, a retrospective such as this
can prove risky when, to a great num-
ber of minds, Rod Stewart means
nothing more than "Da Ya Think I'm
Sexy?" and a few more recent enter-
prses in schlock-rock. Some skepti-
cism is understandable. However, one
must take the frontman for what he
was from 1971, when the Faces re-
corded their finest achievement, "A
Nod Is As Good As A Wink ... To A
Blind Horse" with producer
extraordinaire Glyn Johns: A remark-
ably soulful vocalist with an equally
heavy share of flamboyance. "Rod

the Mod" they called him. He was a
proud Scotsman adorned in clan plaid
and a soccer star to boot. And as for
Stewart's characteristically gruff vo-
cals, the Faces' gritty stomps pro-
vided the perfect back-drop.
At the heart of the Faces' smoking
grooves was Ron Wood. His gig with
the band preceded his indoctrination
into the Rolling Stones in the mid-
'70s, and you could theorize that the
latter event involved some measure
of deprogramming or unlearning, for
while his work with the Glimmer
Twins is undoubtedly very good, it
rarely exceeds that. On the other hand,
Wood's playing on the Faces' tunes,
where he had the responsibility of
operating as the sole guitarist, is noth-
ing short of brilliant. On tracks like
"Miss Judy's Farm," "Too Bad" and
the group's most well-known single,
"Stay With Me," Wood delivers one
scorchingly clever lick after another,
his playing very direct, but not re-
stricted to one specific, invariable riff.
As the Chuck Berry cover "Memphis,
Tennessee," will attest to, the
axeman's skill at pedal steel and slide
guitar also stands out as a merit un-
der-employed in later years by Jagger
and Richards. Furthermore, the
swampy slide to "That's All You
Need" arguably did not meet its match
in popular music until Led Zeppelin
released "In My Time of Dying" four
years later.
"A Nod Is As Good As A Wink"
was unique from the similar efforts of
the era by the Stones and Humble Pie,
not only in Stewart's rasp and Wood's
chops, but also in Ian McLagan's
honky-tonk piano and organ work.
He tends to bounce off Wood while
pounding the ivories, and vice versa.
Within the song, each one alternately
sets the stage for the other to take the

song around a new corner, resulting
in a spontaneity that keeps the band
from sounding even the slightest bit
regimented. Thankfully though, they
never come off too sloppy or self-
indulgent either.
Finally - though if accepted by
the masses, they'll give in begrudg-
ingly - Stewart sings exceptionally
througout the LP. Not only that, but
his musings reflect the life experi-
ences of the everyman: Squalid love
affairs, ejections from pubs, rabble-
rousing, etc. A real lad, Rod the Mod.
Sadly, nothing gold can stay. Two
albums later, in 1974, our intrepid
singer had become a little too big for
his britches. Billing changed from
"The Faces" to "Rod Stewart and the
Faces" before Stewart formally initi-
ated his solo career. Ron Wood began
work on a solo album and, of course,
joined the Rolling Stones. Bassist
Ronnie Lane, responsible for the deft
songwriting and singing on "Last
Orders Please" and "Debris", went
the way of Pete Townshend, devoting
much of his time and efforts to the
exaltation of guru Meher Baba, and
drummer Kenny Jones popped up a
few years later to replace the deceased
Keith Moon in the Who.
Although the Faces' legacy is less
notorious than the accomplishments
and - fair enough - embarrass-
ments of the band's members follow-
ing the break-up, one can trace their
influence from the Black Crowes to
up-and-coming groups like Gene and
the Steamboat Band. The Faces may
not have released a stockpile of al-
bums or achieved great popularity
outside of their native UK, but in
many ways they epitomized early '70s
blues-rock with an energy, sound,
style and swagger all their own, and
sometimes, that's all you need.

Korn rock hard and rock proud.
Korn brings a new flavor to metal

By Kirk Miller
Daily Arts Writer
It's not exactly the coolest name
in the world, but Korn is a cool band,
vegetable moniker aside.
They're loud. They're angry.
They're damn tight musically. They're
(superficially) the dynamic tension of
Tool crossed with the hip-hop style
rhythms of Rage Against the Ma-

RUFFIAN
Continued from Page 9
holds an irrationally strong fear of
dying, and Wilson desires it. All
three of the character's stances on
death become more intense as the
play careens forward, and their po-
sitions eventually seal each of their

fates. According to Epland, Orton's
theme produces in audiences "a rec-
onciliation that death is there, death
is ever-present."
Orton's work manages to take a
seemingly tragic situation and give
audience members the ability to laugh
at the absurdity of it while still being
very much affected by the horror. This

form is called dark comedy, and few
playwrights do it better than Joe Orton.
While still very much a comedy
and guaranteed to make you laugh,
"Ruffian" will also make you cringe,
and actually think about what's play-
ing out in front of your eyes. Said
Epland, "I think this play is funny
with a point."

chine fueled by the rage of vocal style
of Pantera, but there's something also
really twisted and unique about them
and their self-titled debut on Epic/
Immortal.
A song title like "Faget" (sic) might
have left a taint of homophobia or
exploitation on the band, but lead
singer Jonathan Davis claimed there
haven't been any misunderstandings
on the lyrics. Essentially "Faget" is
his nasty little response to being picked
on during high school and not fitting
in. After hearing the term used against
him several times he twisted it back
into a nasty little comeback against
his former adversaries, with surpris-
ingly ironic results.
"At our shows we have all these
big buff guys screaming along
'Faget,"' he laughed. "And I like it."
Davis was the last to join the band,
all of whom had played for a while

around the not-so-charming neigh-
borhood of Bakersfield, California.
("It's like nowhere you've ever been,"
he said. "It's crazy.") After a particu-
larly bad childhood Davis's anger and
enraged delivery would be expected,
except he didn't even like loud or
heavy music.
"No, not at all," he admitted. "I
was more into classical or New Wave,
Duran Duran and shit like that."
Even his bandmates have an eclec-
tic music background far away from
the expected Metallica and Pantera
influences.
"We're all into different stuff -
hip-hop, punk, Phil Collins," he ad-
mitted.
Even if Davis has only recently
discovered the joys of hard music, his
legitimate anger is definitely a wel-
come change from the usual angst
schtick or generic pissed-at-the-
world-rage employed by most heavier
bands. Tracks like "Clown" and "Need
To" are direct and deadly attacks on
his private demons, while other tracks
trip out to new absurd lengths; "Shoots
and Ladders" wraps nursery rhymes
around menacing guitar riffs to ex-
pose the hidden evil side lurking in
traditional bedtime stories, while
"Daddy" is an excruciating 17-minute
diatribe told from the point of view of
a sexually abused child, making Jer-
emy sound like a well-adjusted kid.
So his childhood sucked, but sing-
ing about it helps.
"It's like therapy and I get it out,"
he mused very quietly. "It's a re-
lease."
Possibly the only down side to

Korn comes from their inability to
play a show in Detroit until now.
They canceled an October appear-
ance with Biohazard/ House of Pain
at the State because their transpor-
tation broke down, and then agaip
opted out of the Sick Of It All/
Orange 9mm concert last month at
St. Andrews to pick up the opening
leg of the Danzig / Marilyn Manson
concert.
Considering that the two bands
above them on Friday's bill have
employed everything from lesbian
strippers to exposed scrotums at their
shows, it might be rough for Korn to
win over the crowds. But with a nanie
like Korn, wackiness hasn't been too
far behind.
"At our last show with Biohazard
they dumped creamed corn all over
our head," he laughed. (Hey, they're
lucky there name wasn't Battery
Acid.)
Besides corn puns, the band migtt
gain attention from their occasional
covers of everything from Cypress
Hill to Black Sheep, not hard to imag-
ine considering the diversity of the
band. And hey kids, they just won an
89X new music showdown last week
with their new single "Blind," so ex-
pect to hear them on your favorite
alternahit station soon.
Not that they need coddling. In 4
musical and cultural climate that di-
vides itself between oppressive po-
litical correctness on one side and
hypocritical conservatism on the
other, Korn is one of the few bands
that can legitimately rock for all the
right reasons, because they're good.

'1

RECORDS
continued from page 11
Orb
Orbvs Terrarvm
Island
Like its predecessor, "Pomme Fritz,"
"Orbvs Terrarvm" isn't exactly what
fans have come to expect from The Orb.
But now that they've released as much
twisted, far-out, anti-dance music as
they have cool, mellow, ambient dance
grooves, who's to say what anyone
should expect from them? But if this
album is any indication, it seems fair to
assume that The Orb have left their
dance music roots behind them in search
of more compelling forms in which to
craft their sonic textures.
"Orbvs Terrarvm" is actually
closer to a combination of the previ-
ous releases. The grooves are some-
what more accessible than on "Pomme
Fritz," but nothing on the album gets
within spitting distance of a techno
beat. But unlike any of their other
previous work, the album contains an
element of harshness and even noise
to contrast with the more ambient
sounds, especially on tracks such as
"Montagne D'Or" and "Oxbow
Lakes," where a haunting piano solo
morphs into a quirky rhythm/noise
combination.

Other tracks, such as "Valley" and
"Plateau" (both of which appeared in
a different form on theirmajestic "Live
'93" release) seem spacier and less
reliant on the noisier elements. How-
ever, they still maintain a certain level
of complexity with their seemingly
random use of samples and precise
rhythm structures.
Most importantly, however, is that
the songs structures have taken their
unusual techniques and made the songs
sound fully coherent, instead ofsound-
ing amateurish orprententious, as a few
of the songs on "Pomme Fritz" did.
Instead, every soundon thealbum, noisy
or ambient, seems to have it's place as
part ofthe total picture, insteadof sound-
ing like a mishmash of noises that Dr.
LX and company thought should be
slapped together. For that reason, it's
fair to call "Orbvs Terrarvm" the Orb's
latest masterpiece.
-Andy Dolan
Sonny Fortune
Four In One
Blue Note Records
Whenever a list of the most influen-
tial jazz musicians is made, it comes as
no surprise that Thelonious Monk would
be found among the most notable. His
creations, carved and shaped by his
piano, include "Reflections," "Trinkle

Tinkle," "Coming On The Hudson"
and "Ask Me Now." These songs are as
familiar to any jazz connoisseur as his
or her own back hand, and they will
undoubtedly continue to be as well
received as when Monk first played
them.
"Four In One" is saxophonist /
flutist Sony Fortune's, contribution
to the continuing legacy of
Thelonius Monk. It's 10 cuts, all
originally composed by Monk, are
testaments to the-beauty of tradi-
tional jazz and the genius of
Thelonious Monk.
There is little noticeable variation in
this reproduction from Monk's original
works. The beauty of this preservation,
and Fortune's ability to recreate that
original Monk vibe, makes "Four In
One" an outstanding jazz CD. With the
help of pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassists
Buster Williams and Santi Sebriano
and drummers Billy Hart and Ronnie
Burrage, "Four In One" becomes noth-
ing less than jazz perfection incarnate.
-Eugene Bowen
Flowerhead
The People's Fuzz
Zoo
Poopy disc, mommy, poopy disc.
Yep, fuzzy bland poop.
- Dirk Schulze

9

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