RECORDS

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The Independent Culture
POP

Foil: Spread It All Around (13th Hour, CD/LP). The problem with sounding like the Pixies is that the Pixies did a fantastic job of it themselves, and no one else who thinks that bubblegum pop tunes sound best with mangled chords, twangy bass and a snapping, snarling Rottweiler on vocals is going to do a better one. Still, this West Lothian four-piece make a solid attempt on their promising debut album, and their unpretentiousness keeps them from being anywhere near as horrible as Bush. The only track where they really stamp their own identity on the formula, though, is "Control Freak", on which Hugh Duggie keeps his Scottish accent for a deliciously acted, exasperated rant. The rest of Foil's straightahead grunge-pop isn't likely to win much acclaim outside the pages of Kerrang! just yet. Nicholas Barber

JAZZ

Lee Konitz, Brad Medihau, Charlie Haden: Alone Together (Blue Note, CD). Live recording from the Jazz Bakery in LA, in which the cool-school saxophonist Konitz (he played with Miles on The Birth of the Cool and went on to establish a whole alternative tradition of cerebral yet swinging jazz) plays quite superbly. Haden's bass fiddle dances around the chords of pianist Medihau as Konitz's sax weaves between them in what counts as a supremely assured performance from the 70-year-old maestro. Phil Johnson

CLASSICAL

Peter Maxwell Davies: Job. CBS Vancouver Orchestra/Davies (Collins, CD). Twenty years ago, when he was still the great radical of British music, you'd never have predicted it; but Peter Maxwell Davies these days takes Vaughan Williams as his role model. At the moment you'll find him at the South Pole (see interview, page 24) taking a determinedly literal approach to the writing of a new Sinfonia Antarctica. And last year he produced a large-scale piece called Job, just as VW did in 1930. The difference is that VW's Job was a ballet, based on William Blake, while Davies's is an oratorio, taken direct from the Bible. VW's was also (arguably) his greatest work, which Davies's revisitation never quite manages to be. But there's no denying the coherence, fluency and all-round power of the conception, or the strengths of this recording, which is the latest evidence of Collins's tireless devotion to Davies's works. Michael White

weiler on vocals is going to do a better one. Still, this West Lothian four-piece make a solid attempt on their promising debut album, and their unpretentiousness keeps them from being anywhere near as horrible as Bush. The only track where they really stamp their own identity on the formula, though, is "Control Freak", on which Hugh Duggie keeps his Scottish accent for a deliciously acted, exasperated rant. The rest of Foil's straightahead grunge-pop isn't likely to win much acclaim outside the pages of Kerrang! just yet. Nicholas Barber

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