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September 14, 1995 - Image 28

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-14

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14B - The Michigan Daily - Wedced U4. - Thursday, September 14, 1995

Juvenilia
Matador
With this eight-song EP, singer/
songwriter Liz Phair proves that she's
not only whip-smart - she's down-
right brave. Along with the excellent
single "Jealousy" from this past year's
"Whip-Smart" album, Phair includes
five solo acoustic songs from the now-
legendary Girlysound tapes she re-
corded years ago with only a four-track
as her audience.
It's abold move, kind of like publish-
ing the horrible poems you wrote when
you were 12 years old (don't worry; we
all have a stack of those thankfully
concealed in a drawer somewhere). But
these songs are much better than your
old poetry, and Phair presents an admi-
rable chart of her own musical growth
by placing the Girlysound tunes on this
EP.
She opens "Juvenilia" with the al-
bum version of "Jealousy," setting an
aggressive tone right off the bat as her
sarcastic, rapid-fire lyrics mirror the
song's propulsive drumbeat. "He's got
a million-dollar car /he's got a 37-year-
old guitar ... I can't believe you had a
life before me / I can't believe they let
you run around free," she sings, alter-
nating between wounded self-righteous-
ness and accusatory wrath.
Pop rockers Material Issue play along
with Phair on a hilarious, furiously-
paced cover of the Vapors' "Turning
Japanese." But "Animal Girl," recorded
live for a radio program in Holland, is a
slow-paced, droning disappointment,
lacking the fire of either "Whip-Smart"
or Phair's incredible double-album de-
but "Exile in Guyville."
TheGirlysoundtmcksbeginwith"Cali-
fornia," a chatty, snotty ditty ("So this
guy walks into a bar, right," she begins in
a fake New York accent) set to a typically
simple, delightful sing-along melody.
Phair's forte has always been coating her
lyrical daggers with delectable pop hooks,
and the hissing Girlysound demos are no
exception. "South Dakota" is a first-per-
son account ofthe social life ofamisogy-
nistic prairie boy. Never one to fret over
four-letterwords, Phairsings, "I'm gonna
get drunk and fuck some cows" over
droningguitarreminiscentof"Girls,Girls,
Girls" off "Exile."
The limpid melodies and ringing elec-
tric guitar work of"Batmobile" (a dia-
mond in the four-track rough if ever
there was one) and "Dead Shark" hint at
the startling work to come on "Exile"
("Help Me Mary" and "Johnny Sun-
shine") and "Whip-Smart."Phair closes
the EP with the fine "Easy," a terrifi-
cally scornful address to an ex-lover.
While the Girlysound songs sound

Liz Phair is sexy, agressive and smart, and she also has great knees.

understandably rough and unrealized,
chances are that if you've heard these
songs before on what must be the hun-
dredth generation of the demos' tape
tree, your copy sounds far worse.
That factor alone makes "Juvenilia"
a worthy purchase. But the hummable
melodies, whip-smart wit and lyrical
lashings of Ms. Phair make this EP a
worthy listen.
- Jennifer Buckley
Bivouac
Full Size Boy
DGC
On their major label debut, the British
band Bivouac demonstrates that roaring
guitars and thick distortion help to create
a strong album. With their powerful vo-
cals and songs, Bivouac makes "Full Size
Boy" a wide variety of punky distorted
pop full of riffs and all the great stuff to
create a pretty decent rock album for the
90s.
With fuzzy warm guitardistortion right
out of Billy Corgan's (Smashing Pump-
kins) distortion pedal,andamore straight-
forward rock style, "Full Size Boy" gives
the listener some worthwhile songs in the
style of Pearl Jam and Hum.
Lead track "Not Going Back There
Again" throws the listener right into the
album with the wild soloing of guitarist/
vocalist Paul Yeadon. "Mainbreak" ex-
plores more of the band's hardcore sound,
while "Monkey Sanctuary(Cynic)"shows
the softer acoustic side of the group.

Bivouac entertains and moves even
with their thick and heavy sound and
proves itself as a pretty acceptable addi-
tion to today's alternative rock scene.
- Brian A. Gnatt
311
311
Capricorn records
Listening to the new 311 album is
like watching your weird Rastafariar
neighbor skateboard down the streel
with a boombox in one hand, and elec.
tric guitar in the other, and a picture 01
Anthony Kiedis scotch taped to his fore
head. It's funky, it's punky, and it'
completely not of this world.
Rock meets rap meets funk and thet
they all shoot hoops with reggae on th<
band's self-titled third album. The rumj
shaking drum solo in "Don't Stay Home'
crashes head-on into the calypso beac
house stylings of "Sweet." "T&I
Combo"'s thrash guitars fairly shake yo
from your seat and scream "Dance, whit<
girl!"
Of course, the best thing about 311 i:
that they're not only masters of danci
rock music, they alsothrow in someprett
swangin' (swinging for those of you witl
no rhythm) vocals. Lead man Nichola
Hexum raps a big dis out to gun totini
gang members on "Guns (are for pus
sies)." ("You guys think that you're han
/but you're in fear ofbeingharmed / Ifea
no man and I am unarmed.')
Intelligent rock for the weirdo next
door.
- Kari Jone

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