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Old 2014-03-04, 02:32 PM   #34
One with the Matrix
Skyquake87's Avatar

Still working my way through the pile of stuff I got a few weeks back...

Amused to see that you can buy most of the musical output of the 1990s at least ten times over in all second hand places.

Spiritualized 'Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space' (1997)
After the hazy, music to takes drugs to vibes of 'Pure Phase' and 'Lazer Guided Melodies', this felt like a bit of a cold shower in the world of Spiritualized. Its a more guitar driven piece of work and traditional song structures lend more of a backbone to this album than anything else Spiritualized had done to date. Unsurprisingly, it was their biggest commercial success, and came to be one of the 'big four' indie albums of 1997 (the others being Primal Scream's 'Vanishing Point', Radiohead's 'OK Computer' and The Verve's 'Urban Hymns' - all of which were envelope pushing albums that transcended the more meat and potatoes noodlings of a lot of Britpop artists of the time). Sadly, this isn't the fancied packaged version that came like an enormous tablet.

Pulp 'This Is Hardcore' (1998)
Pretty much a capstone of the Britpop era, coming out in a year when the public's affections for Brtipop's staple of white guitar pop burnt itself out. Pulp's third album proper for Island (fourth if you count 1992s 'Intro' compilation of EPs) saw the band charting out the seedy and damaging side of fame and excess, inspired by their own lives on the road at the time, following their huge success two years previously, (and Jarvis waving his arse at the Brits during Michael Jackson's nauseating performance) this has the same haunted feel of Scott Walker's stuff. Appropriately enough, they'd go onto work with him on final album 'We Love Life' (2001)

The Shirehorses 'Present The Worst...Album In The World...Ever...EVER!' (1997)
These days, Marc Radcliffe and Mark 'Lard' Riley cut more sober figures with their respective shows on BBC 6 Music. Time was when they were the John Peel you could listen to. Starting out with Out On Blue Six on Radio One in 1993, they gained their own late night slot around 1994 which saw them mix in top quality items alongside poetry from John Hegley and Simon Armitage, as well as sessions from the lesser lights of the musical spectrum (usually The Tindersticks, in much the same way The Evening Session would always have BMX Bandits on). Some occasional musical skits lead to further dabblings gently mocking the mores of the era. East West gathered these altogether as the debut album of The Shirehorses, and even now, its still funny. The packaging is also a treat mocking both the 'best album' series of Britpop compliations and Pete Frame's celebrated 'Rock Family Trees' (later turned into a documentary series on BBC2 in 1999). The band photography is also a hoot, with Marc And Lard dressed to replicate famous shots of the bands they were taking the mick out of. Briliant stuff, although the album does run out of steam a bit towards the end. A tour followed in 1998, with the Levensholme Morris Miner Men as support (Marc and Lard and friends dressed as miners doing morris dancing).
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