ALBUM REVIEWS

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The Independent Culture
Dakota Suite `Songs For a Barbed Wire Fence' (Amos) To say this a one-speed album is an understatement, but the pace set by producer Richard Formby (Jazz Butcher, Spacemen 3, Triumph 2000) is a bleak yet smooth and beautiful one set to Chris Hooson's tales of depression. File somewhere between Slint and Son Volt. HHH

Pearl Jam `Live on Two Legs' (Epic) As live albums go, this 71-minute-long take from their summer tour isn't bad. There are 15 of their own songs, including good versions of "Corduroy", "Even Flow", "Nothingman" and "Better Man" from their five albums, plus a version of a song by Neil Young. HHH

Pine Valley Cosmonauts `Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills' (Bloodshot) Tribute albums are often dodgy, but this coherent masterpiece lauds the king of Texan swing in a meaningful and fun way. Jon Langford leads the band, while vocals are handled by the cream of alt. country, including Robbie Fulks, Alejandro Escovedo, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Neko Case. HHHH

Super Furry Animals `Out Spaced: Selected B-Sides & Rarities 94- 98' (Creation) SFA are given the status of an album of B-sides that includes early singles and BBC sessions. It very much depends whether you like their rather tired, druggy innuendoes and psychedelic swirls over average Brit pub rock. One for SFA fans only. HH

Various Artists `Worlds Collide: Global Remixes/Original Versions' (EMI) This well-executed idea from the highly-respected EMI Hemisphere series sees one CD full of dance remixes by the likes of Transglobal Underground and Jah Wobble. The second CD has the cosmopolitan selection of tracks (by Yosefa, Inti Illimani and others) in their original state. HHH

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Ten Benson `United Colours of Benson EP' (Deceptive) The latest tuneful instalment of madness sees Ten Benson adopting southern white trash vocals set to bubblegum electro and slow surf guitars. It works a treat and above all, it's good fun, especially on the lead track, "Mystery Man". HHH

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