ALBUM MUTE, PLAYGROUND RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 REVIEW: OCTOBER 8, 1999
Having previously recorded a couple of singles for small labels, Appliance
did their Mute debut this April with the single "Food Music". There the
British trio ended up somewhere between The Doors, Can and Suicide. It is a
great song - a fabulous mixture of rock and electronics with James Brooks's
Lou Reed-like vocals on top, and with a cool sense of motion and speed.
The follow-up single "Pacifica" was a more ordinary pop song, but a really
good one. That's why their debut album "Manual" feels like a bit of a
disappointment. It's very worked through, and there's nothing wrong with the
sound - guitars weaving mantra like melodies, kraut rhythms and a pleasant
dose of various electronic instruments.
But Appliance never get near the
nerve of "Food Music" or the poppy catchiness of "Pacifica". Instead they
are actually rather boring at times, and that's the worst mistake a band can
make. Buy the singles instead.