Lou Reed "Set The Twilight Reeling" Warner Bros, 9362-46159-2 (51 mins) Dial a track code 1201

Lou Reed "Set The Twilight Reeling" Warner Bros, 9362-46159-2 (51 mins) Dial a track code 1201

Ol' Grumpy Guts is back, with a new album which positively brims with good humour and equanimity. There are still some vestiges of the elegiac nihilism of Magic And Loss and the urban angst of New York, but Set The Twilight Reeling steers its own course into the mind and motives of its middle aged creator.

Just like Neil Young, Lou Reed needs his guitar to keep him young, and he handles all riffular duties on the album, backed up by little more than the bass of Fernando Saunders and the drums of Tony "Thunder" Smith. Songs like Egg Cream, Finish Line and Hookywooky are deceptively simple, stripped down rockers, acting as decoys for the deeply laid emotional traps of Trade In, Adventurer and Hang On To Your Emotions, the latter featuring Reed's new girlfriend Laurie Anderson on backing vocals.

Sex With Your Parents finds Reed using a big taboo stick to poke fun at the New Right, while Riptide sweeps you away in a seven minute wash of Young-esque guitars. Reed has certainly set the twilight reeling and rocking.


The Bluetones "Expecting To Fly"

A&M, 540-475-2 (54 mins)

Dial-a-track code: 1311

With a title nicked off a Buffalo Springfield album and a sound reminiscent of The Stone Roses, you'd imagine that The Bluetones would be somewhat hindered by their influences, but Expecting To Fly turns out to be an accomplished, if all too familiar sounding debut. From the opening jet plane taking off sound, it's apparent that The Bluetones want nothing less than White Album immortality, and throughout songs like Talking To Clarry, Things Change, Carnt Be Trusted and Slight Return, the band pours all its fluidity into its lift off attempt, soaring deftly over the hurdles of history to follow a unique flight path of its own.

The Brilliant Trees: "Friday Night"

Crosstown, CD1 (41 mins)

Dial a-track code: 1421

Finglas foursome The Brilliant Trees have been knocking around since 1992, and they scored an Irish Top Ten hit in `93 with the single Home, before slipping into involuntary hibernation. You can't keep a good band down, however, and the Brillies are back with their debut album, a bright, effervescent indie effort. Apparently, Mssrs. P. Kenny and L. Gogan of the National Broadcasting Service have been raving about Friday Night, and certainly the album's energy and directness could well spark up the airwaves. The addition of The Ken Rice Quartet on strings and Funked Up on brass doesn't clutter the clear pop vision. but the overt Blur and Jam influences sometimes cloud the horizon. When phoning your requests in to Pat and Larry, ask for In Your Dreams, Gone For Good and the new "quiet" version of Home

Ministry:"Filth Pig"

Warner Bros, 9362-45838-2 (54 mins)

Dial-a-track code: 1531

OK, Beavis: "Dah-na-na! Dah-na-na! Dah-na-na-na! Dah-na!" Yes, Evil Al Jourgensen is back with the creeping spawn of 1992's Psalm 69, and it's another descent into decibel hell, with Al playing the part of a snarling Satan and partner Paul Barker stoking up the skin melting sonic heat. The opening track, Reload, empties the entire barrel right between the eyes, and

Lava, Dead Guy and The exit wound a version of Bob Dylan's Lay Lady Lay finds the big brass bed being replaced by the rack. Pure torture.

Various Artists: "Music from the motion picture Trainspotting"

EMI Premier, 7243 8 37190 2 (76 mins)

Dial a-track code: 1641

The soundtrack to the biggest cult film since Pulp Fiction is a hyperactive homage to musical diversity, with Iggy Pop and Lou Reed rubbing shoulders with Blur and Pulp, the vintage ambience of Brian Eno juxtaposing with the techno funk of Bedrock, and the trippy beats of Leftfield and Underworld falling into step beside the clipped rhythms of Sleeper and Elastica. Primal Scream supply their trademark 10 minute chill out, while Damon Albarn finishes with the usual fairground organ malarkey.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist