CD Reviews

By Staff Reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 21, 1996

Guitar Wolf

Missile Me


This album deserves to be played on no less than the highest volume. Guitar Wolf, a trio of leather clad punks from Tokyo offers a hodge podge of garage, hardcore, a little Link Wray, and a little Oblivians in their Matador debut, "Missile Me."

Notorious for their chaotic live performances in Japan, which may have led to their profile in Beastie Boy's fanzine, "Grand Royal", each member is said to often consume a bottle of tequila before the end of a set. Noting the influences of Joan Jett, Joh nny Thunders and the Ramones, Guitar Wolf play rock 'n' roll with a hint of blues reminescent of the New York sounds and intensity of the Heartbreakers.

Even Guitar Wolf's instrumentals are filled with the raw energy that instrumentals so often lack. "Missile Me" has the sound of a live album as lead guitarist, Seiji, pierces each song with his coarse, screaming vocals, to the backdrop of an unwavering drum beat. "Let's Go!" he screams on the mostly instrumental "Guitar Star".

Cuts like "Can Nana Fever" and the irresistability of "Midnight Violence Rock 'n' Roll" (great title) make the album stand out and the band's ability to create a completely punk rock record that remains consistent throughout. Every song on "Missile Me", from "Racing Gun" to "Jet Rock n' Roll" is a tribute to simple, honest to God rock 'n' roll.

-Fen Hsiao

Mazzy Star

Among My Swan


Known for their gift of putting every feeling of loniless and longing into the form of song, the music of Mazzy Star is popular with anyone who has experienced heartbreak . Although "Among My Swan" suffers from the same inconsistency as previous albums, it is only when the songs border on the horrifying, psychedelic, organ-predominant sounds of the Doors that I am tempted to disclaim Mazzy Star, a band which I feel has created a mostly individual sound among the alternative pop scene.

Pure melancholy, Mazzy Star's first single from the album, "Flowers in December" is a good representation of their best interpretations of romance and longing. Hope Sandoval's voice is both haunting and innocent, while evoking feelings of distance and sad ness. Acoustic, moody guitar is complimented by Sandoval's harmonica and the use of keyboards, which very few bands can get away with using. It is needless to print the lyrics from songs, which would seem ridiculous in any context other than among the music of Mazzy Star.

The hypnotism of "Cry, Cry" is perfect for a rainy day, as is the prettiness of "Take Everything" on which guitarist, William Reid from Jesus and Mary Chain, can be heard.

At times dark and atmospheric, "Among My Swan" is a calming, yet unsettling album best played in the light of a fading day.

-Fen Hsiao

Luscious Jackson

Fever In Fever Out


I just love to be surprised. Luscious Jackson's last album, "Natural Ingredients" was good, but not very exciting. There was no real musical change from their first release, "In Search of Manny". They had a sound that was smoky, smooth and funky, but by t he end of an album, boring as well. The songs just kind of blended one into the next. So when "Fever In Fever Out" was released, I wasn't really expecting much. Shows what happens when you assume...

Maybe it's because they left New York for part of the recording. Maybe it's because they worked with a new producer. Maybe it's just because they've grown as a band. Whatever the reason, Luscious Jackson have released an album that is not only diverse and ambitious, but consistently enjoyable. It isn't a new sound that they've found, though, but an old one. Everything about this record screams seventies sensibilities, and if you ever have any trouble imagining a disco ball hanging from your ceiling (assum ing you want to, of course), this album is just what you need. There are trippy sound effects, laid-back beats, and layer upon layer of grooves. The trademark vocals are still there, with Gabby Glaser and Jill Cunniff's hypnotic pseudo-raps, but Cunniff e xperiments much more here when she sings melodies here, and on tracks like "Why Do I Lie," it's apparent what a beautiful voice she really has. Didn't like Luscious Jackson's last album? Get this anyway. Put on your leisure suit, lay back on your velvet couch and set the colored lights a-spin.

And Luscious Jackson's outlook on life? Forget fast-lane mentality. "Live slow, die old," sings Jill on "Take A Ride". Not a bad bit of advice, that. And listen to this record while you're at it.

-Doug Levy