The second studio album by the heavy metal band Killers, led by Iron Maiden's ex-vocalist - Paul Di'Anno. Coming together in 1991, Killers was one of the first metal super groups to exist. Featuring members from bands including Iron Maiden, Tank, Raven and Battlezone, they were hailed by the press as the 'Natural successor to Judas Priest'. With their album ""Menace to Society"" awarded Metal Hammer's best new album of 1994 and a world tour which included headlining the famous Wacken Festival in Germany, Killers represent all that is British Metal at it's very best. After the great response from the 'Murder One' album and constant touring, the band returned to the UK to start work on the follow up studio album. Unfortunately Di'Anno had decided to stay in Los Angeles for a while for a short break…
Of course, Tony Bennett never was "plugged in," so the concept here is redundant, but what the hell. It's been a while since a Tony Bennett live album, and he's always terrific in concert. Certainly, he is here, singing 22 pop standards, including many of his hits and many other songs he's made his own. Elvis Costello and k.d. lang drop by, but they're feeding off Bennett's energy and star power, not the other way around. The album may be part of a successful marketing plan, but forget that and revel in the singing of a masterful song interpreter still, after 40 years, at the top of his game.
By the time of 1994's Mars Audiac Quintet, Stereolab had already highlighted the rock and experimental sides of its music; now the band concentrated on perfecting its space-age pop. Sweetly bouncy songs like "Ping Pong" and "L' Enfer des Formes" streamline the band's sound without sacrificing its essence; track for track, this may be the group's most accessible, tightly written album. The groove-driven "Outer Accelerator," "Wow and Flutter," and "Transona Five" (which sounds strangely like Canned Heat's "Goin' Up the Country") reaffirm Stereolab's Krautrock roots, but the band's sweet synth melodies and vocal arrangements give it a pop patina. Even extended pieces like "Anamorphose" and "Nihilist Assault Group" – which could have appeared on Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements if they had a rawer production – are more sensual and voluptuous than edgy and challenging. It's equally apparent on layered, complex songs such as "New Orthophony" and "The Stars Our Destination," as well as spare, minimal tracks like "Des Etoiles Electroniques," that the members of Stereolab focused their experimental energies on production tricks, vocal interplay, and increasingly electronic-based arrangements.
Oysterband's Trawler is a compilation of favorites from the group's previous seven albums, only newly recorded by the present lineup. Essentially, it's like a "covers" album of The Oysterband covering itself. Long one of Britain's prime synthesists of Celtic and rock, and a thorn in the side of purists everywhere, Trawler takes the group's material one step further away from tradition. Hal-An-Tow is a possessed whirligig of sounds; Oxford Girl reconfirms itself as the group's most memorable melody. One has to admit to slight unease with the "rewriting history" aspect of this re-recording, and a compilation of the original versions would have been far more comfortable.