Rollerskate Skinny
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Shoulder Voices, 7/10
Horsedrawn Wishes, 6/10
Lotus Crown: Chokin' On The Jokes , 6/10
Kid Silver: Dead City Sunbeams , 6/10

(Translated by Gavin Hogg)

Rollerskate Skinny, the band lead by Jimi Shields (brother of My Bloody Valentine's Kevin) emerged from a clutch of Irish dream pop bands with the singles "Novice" (Showbiz, 1992) and Trophy (Placebo, 1993). The album Shoulder Voices (Placebo, 1993 - Beggars Banquet, 1994) saw them perfecting the chaotic pop reminiscent of Mercury Rev. Ger (guitar) and Ken (singer) Griffin were attempting to rediscover the classic pop song in a more fluid, intiuitive format (songs such as Bow Hitch-hiker and Miss Leader).

After Shields left the group, the next release was Horsedrawn Wishes (Warner Bros, 1996). This album was more original, consisting fundamentally of glorious, baroque pop. Under a thick, sleepy blanket of sonorous effects songs like Man Under Glass and Shimmer Son like a Star were made widescreen. Swingboat Yawning and Speed To My Side were straighter pop. The record's levels of experimentation can be compared to The Beatles' Sgt Pepper, even though some tracks (One Thousand Couples, Thirsty European, Bell Jars Away) reminded one more of Love And Rockets. The Brian Wilson trademark of orchestral grandeur used by Griffin, seemd to point the way to a bubblegum pop future.

Shields meanwhile had formed Lotus Crown and their EP Alvar Aalto (Throwrug, 1996) was relased soon after his exit. The album Chokin' On The Jokes (Reprise, 1997), resumed the creativity of the first Rollerskate Skinny album. The better songs were in the vein of Mercury Rev, with easy on the ear melodies and harmonies from Heaven (Well/Mother' s).

I Rollerskate Skinny del chitarrista Jimi Shields (fratello del leader dei My Bloody Valentine) emersero dalla truppa di pop-psichedelico irlandese con i singoli Novice (Showbiz, 1992) e Trophy (Placebo, 1993). L'album Shoulder Voices (Placebo, 1993 - Beggars Banquet, 1994) li impose invece come dignitosi epigoni del caos ipercinetico dei Mercury Rev. Ger (chitarra) e Ken (canto) Griffin tentano di rifondare la canzone pop con un formato meno statico (Bow Hitch-hiker, Miss Leader).

Dopo la partenza di Shields, il gruppo si rimangio` pero` le intuizioni piu` originali di quel lavoro sul successivo Horsedrawn Wishes (Warner Bros, 1996), che e` fondamentalmente un disco di musica pop arrangiata in maniera barocca. Sotto la spessa coltre di effetti sonori si fanno largo le melodie oniriche di Man Under Glass e Shimmer Son like a Star. Swingboat Yawning e Speed To My Side si accontentano di una bonaccia pop. Non a caso il disco viene paragonato a Sgt Pepper dei Beatles, anche se la sperimentazione in studio (One Thousand Couples, Thirsty European, Bell Jars Away) ricorda piu` quella di Love And The Rockets. La grandeur orchestrale del sound e il registro alla Brian Wilson di Griffin fanno semmai pensare agli one-hit wonder del bubblegum.

Shields intanto aveva formato i Lotus Crown, dei quali uscirono presto l'EP Alvar Aalto (Throwrug, 1996), con Dying a Honey Blonde, e l'album Chokin' On The Jokes (Reprise, 1997), che riprende il programma creativo del primo disco. Le canzoni migliori ricordano ancor piu` da vicino i Mercury Rev, con melodie orecchiabili e arrangiamenti bislacchi (Well/Mother's).

Kid Silver is the monicker under which Ken Griffin recorded Dead City Sunbeams (Jetset, 1999), a surprisingly creative album. Alternatively operatic and romantic, David Bowie and Nick Cave (Punchdrunk), Brit-popper (Dead City Sunbeams) and latin dance-popper (Devils, Breadcrumbs), Griffin wreaks havoc of drum'n'bass (Keep Warm) and trip hop (24 Last Days Of The Lilac) the way a Captain Beefheart would have. The experiments peak with the Don't Bring Tears To A Table, a duet of Syd Barrett-ian guitar and Alen Raventine-ian synthesizer. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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