8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 14, 1998
ppW MH E N *N S(IJNL
Cantrell rides solo in 'Boggy' debut
Some music lovers knew all along, but record companies
just didn't get it. After Alanis Morissette, most fans thought
twice about it. But Sarah convinced us all. And now U.S.
labels are finally getting the idea: Canadian bands, even with
their funny accents, are a great source for quality songs,
many times outshining our own music makers.
One.of these promising bands is Vancouver's Pure. In its
latest release, "Feverish," Pure represents its native land fair-
Pure's primary strength on "Feverish" is its blend of fair-
ly normal rock songs with wild electronic hooks. The first
single off of the album, "Chocolate Bar," is virtually
untamed. Layers of techno beats, distorted guitars, clever
lyrics and short synthesized masterpieces make "Chocolate
Bar" a successful experiment, revealing Pure's electronic-
Not every track on "Feverish" is techno flavored. Pure
masters a concept many bands can't even fathom: variety.
Pure manages to take the tempo back
to normal and even further back to
"Hammock" mode, the track that
kk* made Pure's last album "Generation
Six Pack" famous in Canada. On
"Feverish," songs like "Trucks,
Feverish Campers & Trees" and "My
Mammoth Surfboard and My Dog" are hanging
out song. Describing the nature and
Reviewed by the essence of doing nothing, Pure is
Daily Arts Writer an old pro at these borderline drone-
Jewel Gopwani rock songs, adding a few necessary
hooks to keep fans awake.
Adding to the variety on the album, Pure explores a new
world of weird, fun songs. Tracks like, "Sunshine and Happy
Hour," "March of the Loonies" and "New Wave Cowboy,"
are if nothing else, odd. Just try to imagine twangy, synthe-
sized rock, backed up by strong guitars and clever lyrics.
One unforgettable aspect of Pure is its vocals. Jordy Birch
has a unique soothing, almost sultry voice, that is icing on
the cake of every song, especially the title track, "Feverish,".
Birch's deep voice, those playful lyrics and Todd Simko's
Some of the most well-recognized
artists from the early '90s are breaking
away from their bands to try to estab-
lish themselves as solo performers and
to stay in the spotlight. Scott Weiland
made his debut apart from Stone
Temple Pilots this past week, Chris
Cornell, former Soundgarden vocalist,
has a solo project that's been in the
works for several months now, and
most recently, Jerry Cantrell, the talent-
ed guitarist/songwriter/singer for Alice
In Chains, came out with his own
release "Boggy Depot."
Alice In Chains fans will not be dis-
appointed with his guitar playing and
certainly not with the lyrics. He contin-
ues to write about personal issues in his
life such as hope, lost love and troubled
friends. His singing isn't radically dif-
ferent than what fans may be used to in
past albums, with the exception of the
country-tinged ballad "Between,"
where Cantrell flirts with a Southern
accent. There is also a noticeably mel-
low tone on songs like "Satisfy," "Hurt
A Long Time" and "Settling Down,"
slide guitars could melt hearts.
But Pure is not free from the vice that keeps many good
albums from being great. Lulls in the middle or at the end of
any record makes the album just a bunch of five-minute
songs, rather than what it could be - an entity in and of
itself. In Pure's case, about 10 out of the songs on Feverish
are mesmerizing, impressive and addictive. But songs like
"Palm Springs" and "Four Cups of Joe" are decent, and
that's about it. These are songs that keep garage bands in
garages and off of the stage.
But the mediocrity on this album is limited, because there
are plenty more above-average songs to make an inconspic-
uous cover up. Pure also manages to give its fans more that
expected, since the CD for your CD player is also a CD for
Providing photos and videos of the band, in addition to
song lyrics and internet links, Pure is a band for the fans.
So, at your next visit to the record store, check out this
talented, experimental outfit from across the border.
Reviewed by Daily
the latter two of
shelved by Alice
He also consid-
erably tones the
down in "Boggy
majority of the
songs are slow-
paced tunes, lack-
fact, the best songs on the album are the
ones where he sings over a heavy gui-
tar. Although these tracks aren't neces-
sarily fast-paced, they hit listeners by
making sudden shifts in tempo from
slow to heavy and hard.
The song "Breaks My Back," in
which Fishbone's Norwood Fisher con-
tributes bass, is the strongest on the
album. The rhythm helps convey his
deep-felt lyrics: "Restitution Day all I
have I give away to be with you." On
top of that, Cantrell intelligently uses
voice distortion and adds a bit of
Staley-esque gruffness. Although it
doesn't have "radio hit" written all over
it, Cantrell succeeds with this seven-
plus minute track by writing a quality
song with a considerably different
"Jesus Hands" and "My Song," both.
solid tracks, distinctly resemble the
Alice In Chains sound. They are good
examples of classic Cantrell with his
smooth yet intense vocals joined with
cutting guitar riffs coming in at the
None of the songs on the album are
disastrous failures in music making, but
"Boggy Depot" is shrouded in medioc--
rity, and Cantrell will fail to excite fans
by writing too many songs that sound
the same. Although the first half of the
album includes some good tracks,
"Boggy Depot" certainly is not a CD
that you can pop in and listen to all the
By doing a solo project, Cantrell is
aiming to create a name for himself
apart from the band. As one of the most
famous names in a modem band not to
be a lead singer, Cantrell undoubtedlyA
has the potential to sell records. Wha.
this album highlights more than any-
thing else, though, is his inconsistency
and inability to make a collection of 12
tracks worth listening to.
With the success he has achieved
throughout his career in modern rock,
Jerry Cantrell's talent is undeniable.
Cantrell can write, play guitar and he
can even sing to an extent, but he can-
not do these things successfully when
he is on his own. Apart from Alice In
Chains, Cantrell's ability to write good
music is jaded. He needs the support of
the band that made him famous and
most notably, he needs Staley in front
of the microphone. Fans who have been
waiting all this time for Alice In Chains
to come out with something new, or to
go on tour, will have to rely on Jerry
Cantrell's "Boggy Depot" and his sum-
mer tour with monsters of rock,
Metallica Although Cantrell's album
certainly does not establish him as a
solo performer, "Boggy Depot" should
keep fans at bay for awhile, although
they won't truly be pleased until Alice
In Chains decides to release a new
ing a heavy guitar-based rhythm.
Cantrell kept his overall style the same,
but his experimentation with a mellow-
er edge did not come across well. In
Child destined for greatness
Mix harmonious, versatile vocals,
strong song writing and the end result is
Destiny's Child debut CD "Destiny's
Child." On their first effort, these four
young ladies manage to breathe new life
Daily Arts Writer
into an ever-
growing pool of
Y o u n g
Supremes" for the
shows and proves
that this is not an honor to be taken light-
The first two singles from the album,
"No, No, No Parts 1 and 2" exemplify
the broad range of talent the group pos-
sesses. "No, No, No Part 2" flashes face-
paced vocals set to the rhythm of an up-
tempo beat. "Part 1," however, is the
exact opposite. Destiny's Child lays
satiny smooth singing over a soft, laid-
back beat to create this seductive num-
ber. These two songs are only a taste of
the vocal skills this group has to offer.
"Birthday" is another impressive con-
tribution from the album. A sequel to
Punk Turks drop stellar new 'Bomb'-
The New Bomb Turks are back, once again proving that
four English majors from Ohio State actually can amount to
something. "At Rope's End," their second release for indie
giant Epitaph gives the Columbus, Ohio punk rock quartet
an opportunity to further refine its sound. At the same time,
this new album holds on to the scream-in-your-face punk
rock sound for which the Turks are well-known.
Like other Turks releases, this one kicks off with a bang. r
"Scapegoat Soup" gets things cookin' early on with its fast
pace, high-energy vocals and thick guitar sound. With "Snap
Decision," the album continues to roll right along, giving lis-
teners barely a second to catch their breath between tracks.
By mid-disc, however, the Turks throw a change-up into
their typically "guns blazing" punk sound. "Bolan's Crash,"
"Birthday" offers a slightly different
look at the group's creative style. This
laid-back number promises to be as pop-
ular as its predecessor.
With a fearsome debut album,
Destiny's Child is off and running to a
At Rope's End
Daily Arts Writer
could have come
a ballad that discusses disappointment
and unattainable goals, starts out with
Eric Davidson, lead vocalist, crooning
along to a guitar and piano duet, which
is quickly complemented by Bill
Randt's capable drumming.
The follow up to "Bolan's Crash,"
"Raw Law" has a distinct gospel and
blues feel, making it the highlight of
the record. Healthy backing vocals in
the chorus give the track the kickin the
pants that it needs. Darchelle Williams
straight out of a church choir, but some-
releases like "Pissin' out the Poison" and "Scared Straight.'
"Aspirin Aspirations" is a slower, harmonica-based track,
while "Streamline" lacks the speed and energy characteristic
of other tracks on this, not to mention other, New Bomb:
All in all, not a bad effort from these Buckeye boys. "At
Rope's End" may not be a punk rock classic, but it'll cer-
tainly rock you harder than anything on the radio will these
days. The Turks may be at their "Rope's End," but they're
far from kicking the bucket.
how she fits right in with the Turks' punk styling.
It's on the final couple of tracks, "Aspirin Aspirations"
and "Streamline yr Skull" where the record starts to go
downhill. Not that either of the tracks are exceptionally hor-
rible, but neither is up to the standard set by previous Turks
'After' highlights ska before Bosstones
Picture a concert featuring The
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Suicide
Machines, The Slackers, and Less Than
Jake. While all these bands fall under
the category of Third Wave Ska, they
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are all very
diverse in nature,
and come from
Now picture a
group of musi-
cians just as var-
ied 36 years ago
in Jamaica, when
Ska was in its
back beat. Tracks like, "Thoroughfare"
by The Skatalites than known as Don
Drummond and The Skatalites, and
"Storm Warning" by Lynn Taitt and his
Comets showcase a Jamaican style of
be-bop jazz. While tunes like "Get Your
Feet Moving," and "Strong Man
Sampson" by Eric "Monty" Morris
resemble many late '50s R&B artists.
Also evident on this compilation is the
origins of reggae. "Its Real" by The
Silvertones has a blend of organs, gui-
tars and vocals that resemble early
works by Bob Marley.
While a proving, a musical history
book of Ska, this compilation might be
tough for fans of the hard-core and
skater-punk sound to get into. This
music sounds more like something one
would hear on an oldies station, or the
music your parents were listening too
while on their Caribbean honeymoon as
opposed anything on "Rock
After Ska After Ska," is a 21-song com-
pilation that captures how the music,
even in 1962 was just as eclectic, if not
more so than it is today.
The songs on this album display a
powerful mix of Jazz, Gospel, Soul and
rock 'n' roll, all blended with a calypso
But this shouldn't discourage fans of
the newer music from exploring it.
roots. "Ska After Ska After Ska" i
essential when looking at the music
because it shows how in 1962 it
appeared in extremely varied forms.
Also as it acts as almost a constitution-
for a musical revolution that is still
being waged nearly four decades later.
Guster shines. on 'Gold'
Guster is certainly on its way to the
top of the music industry. Until recently,
this trio out of Boston worked entirely
on its own, but Guster has now released
" rnirfl " whic h ha been available via
would like to see more of in the future.
Next is "Demons," a traditional Guster
song with amazing lyrics, displaying a
more refined harmony than the trio
found on its earlier nroiect.
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