14 - The Michigan Daily Summer Weekly - Wednesday, July 29, 1992
RECORDS from adrummer who wrote(butnever
Cont dfrompage1sang on) a couple of songs for his
Continued band (but on some cuts, Mars' vocals
are more than lacking). I'm glad he
Chris Mars did it, it made me happy, but I wish
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades for more.
Smash /Island -Annette Petruso
Recalling the Jam, They Might
Be Giants, and, not surprisingly, the Polvo
Replacements, ex-'Mats drummer Cor-Crane Secret
Chris Mars' first solo release im~ Merge
presses with its consistent quality If Sonic Youth would've come
guitar-based rock. But Horseshoes blazing outof the hills of Chapel Hill,
and Hand Grenades raises concerns North Carolina, instead of the urban
that I've been worrying about for jungle of NYC, they might have
years: What would happen to '80s sounded a whole lot like Polvo. Dis-
college rock bands when they hit the sonant guitar gymnastics, crashing
thirtysomething stage of life? Would cymbals everywhere,lurching tempo
theygracefullyendtheircareer,mov- changes, blurry, fractured vocal
ing on to something other than re- stylings - In other words, pretty
cording and not repeat the embar- happening stuff.
rassing money-grubbing records and Polvo has a way with noise, twist-
tours that the Stones, the Who, etc.? ing and shaping it into eerily catchy
No one really has yet, but the near-melodies. "Can I Ride" has that
Buzzcocks tours come pretty close as cerebral, scream-along quality of
does R.E.M. on occasion. Or would Swervedriver, "In The Hand, In The
they do the Bob Mould-type solo Sieve" is a paralyzed scorcher, and
thing that takes them out of the realm "Vibracobra" has a fuzzy, psyche-
of what their successful bands sound delic thing going on.
like? How many could do it as well as Simultaneously ascending and de-
Mould for that matter? And though, scending, brimming with dynamic
overall, Mars'effort would fallin the tension and some seriously raw en-
affirmative of the latter questions, ergyCor-CraneSecretis yetanother
sometimes it falls near the line that reason tomake thatroad trip to Chapel
separates the good from the bad. The Hill.
first half of the album has the Minne- -Scott Sterling
apolis feel, melodic and kind of
rockin', but it also suffers from too Ministry
much MOR (Middle of the Road)
rock triteness. Horseshoes and Hand Jesus Built My Hotrod
Grenades is more than worthy of the Sire/Warner Bros.
last Replacements album, but gees Maybe I just missed something.
what's new, what's next? I've heard But while hundreds of sweaty, danc-
it before, even though it's well done ing bodies took over the floors of
and energetic and the second half of progressive music nightclubs every-
the album is inspirng in its springi- where, and gyrated away to this new
ness. The album is surprising coming tune from the "bad boys" in Ministry,
Yes, these are the guys in Polvo. No, they're not the guys that sit behind you in your Psych lecture.
I sat at home in utter disgust. What is without a heart.
Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surf-
ers does most of the vocals on this Darkside
single, which might explain my dis- Melomania
appointment. Anyone get a real kick
outof thatlastB-hole Surfers album? Beggars Banquet/
Instead of having the brawn and guts This ain'tnol
of the past couple of Ministry al- no shoegazing,t
bums, "Jesus Built My Hotrod" de- around. The Da
generates intoa mediocre dance num- usual Brit guita
ber, that's extremely reminiscent of unique maelstro
Revolting Cocks material. dies that's all th
Amusing the song is, but Ministry Melomania f
it ain't. There's nothing wrong with a histrionics with
sense of humor, but with all of Al Hammond orga
Jourgensen's side projects that deal beats, topped w
with the completely inane, there deadpan vocaliz
seems no reason to transfer over bits
of these to Ministry. If Jourgensen
wants to deal with a number of bands,
that's fine, but the rapid inbreeding
has got to stop.
It will be interesting to hear the
new Ministry album, and to see the
new Ministry on Lollapalooza this
summer, to gauge just how much
they've changed. If change has come
because of growth's sake, then Min-
istry will stillearn the respect of fans.
However, if it's change to break con-
formity,then Ministry has indeed sold
Lazer Guided Melodies
With ex-Spaceman 3 members,
how could Spiritualized's LP Lazer
GuidedMelodiesbe anything but bril-
liantly dense, sculpted, and manipu-
lating? The careful construction of
each song, and the album as a whole,
gives Lazer Guided Melodies an un-
realistic, soul-less aura, but the feel
of ingeniusness that permeates the
structure overrides this drawback.
From the looped blast of brass that
gives "If I Were with Her Now" a
psychadelic feel, to the dreamy,
gentle, blissed-without-guitars "You
like new-age pop: intelligent, but
both the Velvet Underground and
-Annette Petruso Bassman's former band, cult legends
Spacemen 3, the Darkside's latest
offering is loaded with gorgeously
On "Tornado," Bassman repeats
A the songs only line ("There's a tor-
nchester,this ain't nado in my heart") like some kind of
s ain't no foolin' moody mantra, over a sonic land-
ide sidesteps the scapeofetherealblues."AlwaysPlea-
aunds to create a sure" is a manic head-shaker that
of moody melo- retro-wannabee's like the Charlatans
own. would give their eye teeth for, while
s whiplash guitar the beautifully bleak "Are You For
eating chunks of Real" slow-motion twists into a ca-
nd frantic shuffle cophony that's truly extraterrestrial.
Pete Bassman's Aces, this one.
. Reminiscent of - Scott Sterling
Hi, I'm Chris Mars and I feel good about my chin-hair.
Hey ! There's a photographer. Quick, look like you're nauseous.