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Single Reviews: 24th May, 2000

rhonwen hayes - opaque
A mix between Aimee Mann and Mary Coughlan, the opening track on this EP requires an interest in jazz and moody bluesy singing not to turn it off. It does get a bit more tolerable. The fourth track, 'Heart Rhyme' is a pretty love song of the Plague Monkey's variety.

The drum - reasons (mantra)
"We've used dance technology to make a rock album", say Drum, the evidence of which is clear from this chaotic single. Guitar heavy with a constant under current of dance beats and sound effects. The second song, 'Cake' alternates a seductive style with Beachboys type harmonies and some noisy guitars. And then there's Hugo Goes clocking in at an epic 46 minutes (not one for TOTP then..)

Iron Maiden - the wicker man (EMI)
It's metal as usual with Bruce Dickinson and his fellow grand daddies. It's not really the stuff of pulling heads off chickens and the usual shenanigans. Sounding more 'Eye of the Tiger' than 'The Ace of Spades', the lads will undoubtedly find favour with their fellow oldies at various metal festivals around the galaxy, without too many casualties.

Basement jaxx - bingo bango (xl)
Coming nowhere close to the dizzy heights of 'Rendez-vu' or 'Red Alert', the Jaxx' latest single is an enjoyable if throwaway arse-wiggler. So far it's been on a par with Moby (well maybe not quite) in terms of airplay on ads, sports programmes etc. With a Latin sound, it's bound to be a floor filler this summer.

Soulwax - conversation intercom (pias recordings)
The cover looks like Pulp with its tacky stage lights, but they couldn't sound more different. Slide guitars and a real American road sound, if it doesn't grab you at first give it time. This one's a real grower.

Dark star - I am the sun (EMI)
Dark star are one of those bands that work away quietly having never (yet) been largely embraced to the bosom of the music press. The euphoric remix of 'I am the Sun' is a real head shaker, ultimately lifted by the frantic guitar rifts of Christian Hayes and ever-reliable beats by David Francoli. "Jesus was my age when he got nailed/I am the sun." Sure it's pompous Stone Roses kind of stuff, but hey, it rocks.

Anne-Louise Foley

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