One month after the curious collection of crack pop chorale that was “Secret Tracks” the people at Select magazine hit the public with the imaginatively entitled “Secret Tracks…2″. Zero points for pushing the boundaries with the naming but would the contents also score nil points with the judges…which, in this case, is me.
Maximum points on the Mild Mannered Max Pop Scale are awarded to the opening track…”Don’t Fight it Feel it” by Primal Scream. This version is from a DAT of a live show in Tokyo which, in the words of Andrew Innes had “…more energy, more guitar, further evidence of our dance treachery.” With a vocal from Denise Johnson that soars to soul fuelled highs previously unheard in the world of…whatever it was that Primal Scream were at this point, this is the definitive version of one of the best songs in the scream catalogue.
Pixies front man Frank Black is up next with a song from his, at that point, unreleased album “Teenager of the Year”. It sounds a bit like…that bloke from The Pixies. Which, if you like The Pixies, is a good thing.
Other than a handful of individual songs I really don’t get the love for The Pixies.
It always sounds like they are trying a bit too hard to show everyone how odd they are…how cool they are…how experimental and out there they are. That’s lovely if you care about those things but I’m more interested in silly things like…melodies, a catchy chorus and a good pair of trousers.
Also, he’s a scruff.
The Boo Radleys track “Lazarus” is given the full Saint Etienne treatment with this remix and it is, as one would expect, a near unrecognisable rendition of the song. Gone is the jingle and jangle, absent is the deep groove of the bass and in their place comes something altogether icier, near glacial, so cool it could freeze you if you touched it. It is an altogether different song…which, I think, is what a good cover version or remix should be.
“Father Ruler King Computer” is the next track and it begins with the sort of lyrical flourish that Sonya Madan tossed aside like pocket fluff.,
“Is it wrong to be alone? An adventure of my own, a celebration of myself and me…”
Taking its name from a line in Germaine Greer’s seminal 2nd wave feminist text “The Female Eunuch” this blast of the usual dark brilliance from Echobelly is as astonishing as everything else they did. It is, to quote Sonya Madan, “…a celebration of independence”. Backed with the usual guitar genius from Glenn it is one of the stand-out moments from the first rush of songs from the band.
Another track taken from an unreleased album is next but, unlike the one from Frank Black, this one is ruddy, bluddy, brilliant.
“Let’s Get Lost” from Ride’s “Carnival of Light” album sees the former shoegazers embracing Mod like long lost relatives being reunited on “Surprise Surprise”.
“Well boys, you haven’t seen “The Kids are Alright” by The ‘Oo for a lorra, lorra years but it’s here tonight…” you can hear Cilla yelling as the boys rush to grab the heritage of British guitar rock with open arms.
By some distance my favourite Ride track.
If the title “I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have” sounds familiar that’s because it became the Primal Scream classic “Loaded”. If the name Idha sounds familiar that’s because she was romantically entwined with Ride geezer Andy Bell. What this union of sounds and people brings us is a folk rock version, or vision, of the Scream song…and it’s not bad at all. It comes over all sixties West Coast America and I’m a sucker for that.
As I sit here listening as I write I am having a funny thought…I might prefer this to the version by the Scream.
Do you like Aphex Twin?
Well you will love “Phlid”.
I’ll be honest, I’ve got a packet of Jammie Dodgers that are not going to eat themselves and an old episode of Taskmaster to watch.
You knock yourself out though.