audio asier leoz
hurrengoa

HEFNER

dead media · Everlasting

Hefner's last record "We love the city" brought us a little closer to Darren Hayman. The smiling guy from next door, quite ugly, a bit shabby and a whacky sense of humour. In fact, the lyrics on Hefner's records are the sharpest to be heard for a long time. English from top to bottom. On top of all that, there was an amateur touch to each song as they softened that really made them attractive. Just when you were feeling sorry for the band, you took a look at the composition of the songs and you found some really great stuff that you never get bored listening to ("Hymn for the coffee", "The day that Thatcher dies"). But on this new record all the rasping guitars have disappeared. Well, they actually stuck them all together on one song: "Trouble Kid", powered along by an AC / DC type riff. The rest is totally covered by a blanket of electronic sound. It's like listening to all the stuff The Cars never released. That doesn't lower the quality of some of the songs but it doesn't enhance them either. This is noticible on the title track or "When the angels play their drum machines". On some others the electronics are smothered a bit and the songs gain from it. Having said that, if you want to record one minute long piss takes, they had better have a touch of humour. This is not the case on "Union Chapel day", "Treacle" and "The mangle". For the three songs like this on the record to be superfluous is a bit much. "Dead Media" is a curious record. The production lends body to the good songs on the album and it's plain to see that "Peppermint Taste" and "The King of Summer" are beautiful tracks. But if the instruments that produce sounds from the Spectrum period were turned off and there was more substance to the end result, it would be that much better.

hurrengoa

TORI AMOS

strange littlegirls · Atlantic

Songs originally performed by male artists done by a woman. It wouldn't be any more than anecdotal if the recording artist didn't happen to be Tori Amos. She delves into the insides of famed Nirvana teenage anthem "Smells like teenage spirit" and turns Cobain's screams into an emotive silence. On this album of versions Tori Amos steps into the shoes of Llyod Cole, Neil Young, John Lennon and Bob Geldof and follows in their footsteps fearlessly registering everything she finds on her way. She fiddles around with Slayer's "Raining Blood" by changing the the guitars for a piano that freezes the blood in your veins. The result is even more frightening than the original. She walks down the same path in an amazing recital of rap star Eminem's "97 Bonnie & Clyde". "No more fighting with Dad, no more restraining order" whispers the dead mother lying in the boot of a car to her daughter. Incredible stuff. Perfection cannot be bettered, so she does her best and sings the master Tom Waits' "Time" from as deep within as she can. Her version is up there with the original, which is as good as it gets. She does a nice job on Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground's "New Age" albeit quite different to what appears on Warhol & Co's "Loaded". The same can be said about her version of the song that forever links Mondays to Bob Geldof and The Boomtown Rats. This, as the choice of The Jacksons' "Real Men" as the LP's goes to show, is a very carefully thought out record. Just like the advertisement put it: "There' are versions and there are versions".