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Southport Reporter

Edition No. 87

Date:- 21 February 2003

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Massive Attack
100th Window
(Virgin Records)
Review by Dominic Bonner.

TRIP hop has taken many shapes and forms over the past decade. But none so definitive as this latest release from this Bristol based trio who cut the genre down to a fine art that pioneers the way for much of the music scene.

A discography of six albums that spans fifteen years has seen many twists and turns in their musical approach. Often there has been the remark that they are the ‘comeback band’. This album sees that half-truth turn to fiction. Seemingly, they have never been too far away from the button that shapes them as one of the best musical bands from England in the present day. 

It is fair comment to remark that this album is dream like and verges at times on the transcendental. Massive Attack’s 100th Window offers similar tones to that of their previous album ‘Mezzanine’, but takes a less dramatic approach. As it homes in on the ear by stealth and seduction - Especially with key tracks ‘A prayer for England’ that hosts Sinead O’Connor and ‘Antistar’ that transfixes the attention span to the challenging but almost dreamy state.

A characteristic of expectation of this band has always had is that with each delivery, we expect more and more from their creativity. Again, there is nothing here to suggest that reputation is about to change. This album translates perfect music from a band that defines the rules of music itself.

4 out of 5

Reactor - Alone

Review by Eric Lyon Taylor

ALONE is very reminiscent of eighties metal, but using sound effects that are more technical of our era - Although beyond the surface this proves to be nothing more than a gimmick. Despite this Reactor’s approach is very refreshing and the tracks prove to be well produced and implemented.

The mix of vocals, keyboards, and the slow introduction of drums bring a nice nineties nu-metal, which should not reflect badly on them. But perhaps the overtones of Iron Maiden in places may yet add to their charm.

Devotion, the follow up track, begins with a Muslim prayer horn that swiftly jumps into the 
raunchy metal sound, which characterizes Reactor. Its heavy background riffs with a slower tempo invite powerful lyrics, which prove to be somewhat over the top. However, it does work well. Leaving an overall impression that leaves the listener keen for more from this band. And with the prospect of an album on the horizon, that desire is soon to be satisfied.

3 out of 5.

Stick Finlays – Everything Escapes Me EP
(As yet unsigned)

EVERYTHING escapes me sets a tone nu-metal that follows a standard of slow verses and fast chorus set-up, but well executed. 

The second track ‘Break it’ sticks to a similar formula as the first track but sounds a little more 80's in it's style, but it’s approach has a flavour reminiscent of nineties metal. 

Strange Head, the last track kicks off in a familiar angst ridden style of today’s rock music. It sees a more indie approach to their sound that contains an essence of Puddle of Mudd. 

This band seems to like to let their songs flow with a good solid show of guitars, vocals and melody which are well delivered. But they seem to lack creativity, which shows banality and indifference to this single and remains very much run of the mill. 

Sound better Live.

2 out of 5

Above Review by Eric Lyon Taylor

Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.