Neon Ballroom

Even for goths, there were tea breaks....

Even for goths, there were tea breaks. They came between tracks on This Mortal Coil records – in which the 4AD roster would gather to cover cult ballads under a dark cloak of wafty minimalism. They were usually ‘composed’ by head 4AD honcho Ivo Watts-Russell and consisted of whale wanking noises for just enough time to fix yourself a cup of hemlock before the next song.

When the concept was resurrected for last year’s Hope Blister album, ‘Smile’s OK’ (yeah, right), the Glastonbury tepee field rejoiced that it only had songs on it. But break out the electric bagpipes, here they all are, collected on this companion release of ‘outtakes’. But do we get ill-judged Supernaturals covers? Nope, we get droning. About an hour of it on ‘Sweet Medicine’ and then, after a few totally innocuous tracks flitter by, another few months on ‘Sweet Medicine 2’, as if Ivo wants us to experience the hell of living near Heathrow. He may still be there, in a deserted studio, finger Superglued to middle C, droning for England.

‘Underarms’ is the equivalent of releasing an hour-long video of adverts and calling it [I]Father Ted: The Forgotten Scenes[/I]. Just thank Christ these pits got shaved.