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March 01, 1995 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-01

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I
8-- The Michigan Daily -- Wednesday, March 1, 1995

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Cranes fly away from categorization

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10

Dy Andy Dolan
Daily Music Editor
The Cranes have been tagged with
more than their share of inaccurate
labels over the years, such as "gothic,"
"ethereal" and even "industrial," but
just as often, they are more accurately
described as a band with a furiously
creative drive which allows even their

interesting by giving their music an
element of edginess and
unpredictability. Some of their songs
make their point with no more than
three notes played repeatedly on a
piano, while others rely on screech-
ing, wailing walls of sound provided
by guitarists Matt Cope and Mark
Francombe, while still others rely on
a clever, sometimes surprising, com-
bination of the two. All of these ele-
ments are complemented perfectly by
Shaw's unmistakable vocal style and
her brother Jim Shaw's precise and
powerful percussion. For the record-
ing of "Loved," however, they chose
to explore some different areas of
inspiration.
"Our first album had a lot of pi-
ano, and 'Forever' had a few songs
with it, and we'll probably use it again
in the future, but this time it was nice
to use some things that we hadn't
used before, like the xylophone sound
on 'Paris and Rome.' Most of our
songs start out with one particular
sound or instrument, and we both
really liked Spanish guitars at the
time, and so a couple of songs started
with that sound," Shaw said.
While the Cranes' sound has al-
ways had certain elements that have
made them unique, the songs on
"Loved" expand even further on these

ideas, with a sound that is often even
more forceful than their previous ef-
forts "Lilies," for example, driven by
its tremolo-damaged guitar explo-
sions, is one of the noisiest songs the
band has ever written. Other songs,
such as "Shining Road," give the al-
bum a more mysterious feel, as Shaw
explained.
"I think that some of the songs on
the album have got a sense of move-
ment, of moving forward, like when
we were writing 'Shining Road,'
there's kind of an intro where the
guitars are just acoustic, and it's not
everything coming in all at once, so
there's kind of a sense of motion."
"That gave me the idea for the
words, which are about someone set-
ting off on ajourney, leaving their old
life behind and knowing they're go-
ing somewhere, but not sure where
they're going to end up," she said.
As far as influences, Shaw ex-
plained that the band's lives have a
great impact on the music's overall
direction.
"One thing that might have influ-
enced things was that I moved last
year, and I live quite close to the sea
now, and I get to experience the ex-
tremes of weather a lot here, like
when its really, really windy and the
sky changes every five minutes. I

simplest songs to sound beautifully
honest and original.
"With us, we know when we've
got a song that means something to
us," explained Cranes' vocalist
Allison Shaw, "and I think as long as
you're always making songs that have
a real meaning to you, it works out."
This ideal is apparent through all of
the Cranes music, from their first self-
released cassette "Fuse" up through
their latest work, "Loved."
Butassimple as theirmusic seems,
the Cranes have always kept things

think it made an impression on me,
and I think a lot of that imagery went
into the songs, almost without my
noticing. We've also been lucky in
that we've been able to travel a lot,
and I guess that has some subliminal
effect on how the music turns out."

The Cranes' popularity may have
begun during their stint as the open-
ing band on the Cure's "Wish" tour,
but they've proven themselves de-
serving of this success by moving
forward with their own enrapturing
style of music. As far as the future,

Shaw said that the band still feels as
inspired as ever. "I really hope we can
continue, because we're always aware
that it's a lucky position to be in, to be:
able to record and go on tour, and
that's something that tends to keep
our us going!"

RECORDS
Continued from page 5
Lords Of Acid
Voodoo-U
American
The first striking thing about
"Voodoo-U" is the Coop illustra-
tion of neon devil girls with purple
nipples and lips getting down in
Hell. It's actually scary how well
the music on the CD accompanies
the art.
The music is speedily beat-driven
in the evil manner that (thankfully)
infests this type of kinda techno
stuff. The guitar is pretty hidden,
but the vocals are way out there. It's
high energy stuff, surely a leather
UMAN

club favorite.
And it's certainly got a sense
of humor. The beginning of "The
Crab Louse," a graphic little ditty
about parasitic infestation down
below, sounds like a Janet Jack-
son ballad before descending fully
into its subject. "Out Comes the
Evil" takes "Pop Goes the Wea-
sel," injects some heroin, and cre-
ates a nauseously good-sounding

track designed to bring out the
murderer in anyone.
So, despite a bit of overly dra-
matic drug world crap, the Lords of
Acid have come up with an enter-
taining and standardly deviant bit
of music. By the way, the vinyl
version has a much better represen-
tation of the cover girls, cuz the art
shows up all at once.
- Ted Watts

L.A. Guns
Vicious Circle
Polydor
The disposable heroes of late '80s
hard rock have been run into the
ground by the '90s alternative band-
wagon, probably with good reason. A
lot of the bands were merely tattooed
attitude or guitar exhibitionists hid-
ing behind a couple of lame ballads
and embarrassing attempts to "rock."
And this is criticism from somebody
who liked the stuff.
Consider how the hit list grows:
Cinderella, Extreme and Poison are
struggling; Great White, Dangerous
Toys, Warrant and Slaughter were all
dropped by their record companies
and now gamely continue recording
for tiny labels; Whitesnake and Enuff
Z'Nuff don't have record deals out-
side of Europe; and Bon Jovi and
Motley Crue had to reinvent them-
selves to merely survive.
So what the hell do '80s throw-
backs like L.A. Guns think they're
doing releasing a new album?
Actually, even with all of their
inconsistencies and bad lyrics, L.A.
Guns were one step above their Sun-
set Strip counterparts. They had Tracii

Guns, one of the best guitarists in
metal and the first headbanger to have
short hair (take that Helmet). Along
with Guns there was always the band's
willingness to experiment with dif-
ferent styles and sounds, sometimes
more successfully than others.
So after three years the band has
returned, with shorter hair and a
sound that actually takes just as
much from the late '80s as it does
Mott the Hoople, Led Zeppelin and
even Ministry. "Nothing Better to
Do" is rock at its Chuck Berry es-
sence, just three chords and a killer
chorus. "Killing Machine" has a riff
Slayer would die for and a wicked
industrial drum machine; if it wasn't
for lead singer Phil Lewis's nasally
voice the song might almost inspire
a mosh pit.
If they only dumped Lewis and
dropped a few of the dumb lyrics
("Kill That Girl" isexactly about what
the title says. O.J. fans, maybe?) this
would be just as alternative as
Candlebox and Sponge, with more
variety and without the angst. Plus,
when the band kicks into their
rereleased version of "Crystal Eyes"
or the new "Kiss of Death" you can
almost see the glow of the lighters

Go Wher~e f teIProffs Go
N~x aProdiiactsAveiliblie

Lords of Acid are studying hard at the Voodoo-U.

UNIVERSITY HOUSINGLRE

NHL '95
Electronic Arts
Sega Genesis and Super NES
While the NHL season didn't begin
until the middle of January this year,
Electronic Arts Sports' dedication to
hockey and its fans made it possible to
enjoy the hockey season before it ever
began. With the latest edition of "NHL
'95," EA Sports added another slew of
features this year, creating a bigger
emphasis on trading and league affairs
than actual game play.
Each year, EA revamps their NHL
series, adding more of this and a better
that, to make the game as much like the
actual sport as possible. This year, they
added a whole new side of league play.
With the option to play the entire hockey

season, players can checkon theirteam's
stats and player rankings, including
goals, assists, saves and overall points.
EA also added a new trading system to
keep teams as current as possible.
However, the most impressive -
and also the most distinguishable -
feature of "NHL '95" comes with the
new ability to create players. The game
allows you to name players, and also set
their skill levels, emphasizing what-
ever skills are deemed important.
The create-a-player mode not only
gives greater freedom and diversity, but
it also makes game play much more
exciting. Putting yourself or friends into
the game, and watching them score and
get beaten up gives "NHL '95" a new
level of freshness and originality.
Other new features include drop

held aloft stretching back from the
late '80s.
-Kirk Miller
Obo Addy
The Rhythm of Which a Chief
Walks Gracefully
EarthBeat! Records
Some things are aquired tastes, like
sushi, warm beer and pastel dresses.
This is also true about musical tastes.
Some LPs just take a little (or a lot)
getting used to. Take Obo Addy and his
long-windedly named "The Rhythm of
Which a Chief Walks Gracefully."
Obo is a native of Ghana where
music is used to express all emotions
happy and sad. However, the eight
cuts on this CD all sound the same -
Obo Addy playing thedrums. Oh sure
there is a little variety: an African
xylophone here, a flute there. But,
you know how it is; you've heard one
bongo, you've heard 'em all.
I'm not saying this is a bad CD. I'm
sure someone somewhere is into the
sounds of the highly traditional African
drummer. This CD is for them. How
ever, at this point, I for one have yet to
acquire this particular musical taste.
- Eugene Bowen
See RECORDS, Page 9
passes, block shots and fake shots, and
awards at the end of a season. Like
every year, the animation was altered.
This year, players are larger and more
detailed, and game speed was increased
for a more intense and action filled
game. Checking also plays a smaller
role in "NHL '95," and the game pre-
vents checks after the whistle.
The most significant change from
previous editions is the "createplayer"
feature, and that makes "NHL '95" a
great game in itself. If you ever wanted
to play hockey with Fedorov, Bure,
Yzerman, your mother, or whoever,
"NHL '95" is probably as close as
most people will ever get. Maybe you
can even rough 'em up a bit.
- Brian A. Gnatt
Tie Fighter
LucasArts
CD-Rom
The latest edition to the "Star Wars"
saga, LucasArts' flight simulator and*
combat game "Tie Fighter," once again
revolutionizes flight simulation games,
adding an exciting twist to the famous
and fictional Rebel / Empirial Wars.
In this sequetto the 1993 top-selling
game "X-Wing," players take upon a
new role in the battle between good and
evil. In "Tie Fighter," it is your duty to
fight for the Empire throughout its ent
deavors, to destroy the Rebellion and t6
control the galaxy. Quite achange from
"X-Wing," and the usual support fdr
the Rebellion, "Tie Fighter" givesplay-
ers an opportunity to smash the snotty
little brats, and faithfully serve the
See MULTIMEDIA, Page 9

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