Title:memory Lane Traffic Jam
Band:Icecream Hands
Label:Rubber Records
Highlights:Is It Your Electric Chair?
Embarrassment Head
Early Morning Frost
Go When You Want To
Is It Already Too Late?

Although it was criminally ignored by radio here in Australia, Memory Lane Traffic Jam is jam-packed full of brilliant pop songs and deservedly received rave reviews both at home and overseas. Even after listening to the opening track, Is It Your Electric Chair, it's easy to see why; strong arrangements, intelligent chord changes and lyrics as well as Beatlesque harmonies that aren't too overly sweet. However, the most vital ingredient of all is the brilliant voice of Charles Jenkins, which is best heard in such songs as the elegant Early Morning Frost and Leave Us Kittens Alone. Other highlights include the swirling guitar of Embarrassment Head and the should-have-been-hit Supermarket Scene, with its intelligent observations of nightclubs and pickup lines. Jenkins is well supported by bassist Doug Robertson, who also has a great voice and contributes 3 perfect pop songs of his own; Paper Bird, Here We Go 'Round Now and the insanely catchy Go When You Want To. However, the best track is left to last. Is It Already Too Late is the albums centrepiece with its crescending chorus, breathtaking background vocals and tender lyrics. A fantastic way to end a great album.

Title:Sweeter Than The Radio
Band:Icecream Hands
Label:Rubber Records
Highlights:Spirit Level Windowsill
Yellow & Blue
Gasworks Park
Picture Disc From Benelux

Rating: 9.5/10

The Icecream Hand's third album, Sweeter Than The Radio, is not only their best to date but is also one of the best albums of 1999. It may be hard to believe but Sweeter Than The Radio actually is an improvement on the band's critically acclaimed last album, Memory Lane Traffic Jam. Wayne Connolly's production is excellent throughout and the addition of keyboards and organ adds a further dimension to the band's sound.

Opening with the deceptively simple Can Anyone Be Hypnotised? allows lead vocalist Charles Jenkins to showcase just what a wonderful voice he has. The album then moves up a gear with the perfect pop singles Spirit Level Windowsill, Dodgy (which features You Am I's Tim Rogers), Nipple and Yellow & Blue. Gasworks Park is perhaps the highlight of the album with its swirling guitar and sad, haunting feeling. Such is the strength of this album that both Picture Disc From Benelux and Giving It All Away could easily be released as future singles. Even throwaway tracks like Bad Hip and Magic Pudding Blues don't detract from the majesticy of this album. If this album doesn't stamp the Icecream Hands as one of Australia's premier pop outfits then nothing will.

Title:Double Danger
Band:Iggy & The Stooges (USA)
Label:Bomp Records
Highlights:Raw Power
Search And Destroy
Gimme Danger
Open Up And Bleed

Rating: 4/10

Representing the 6th full length instalment in Bomp's Iguana Chronicles, Double Danger is a double cd containing two previously unreleased 1973 live concerts by Iggy & The Stooges. The first show was recorded on New Years Eve at the Academy of Music in New York while the other show is a November gig from the Latin Casino in Baltimore, MD. Despite the liner notes claiming that these concerts were recorded while the band were at the peak of their powers, this claim (unfortunately) can neither be justified nor refuted due the terrible sound quality, which is no better than your average audience bootleg. Subsequently, I would advise the average fan to avoid this CD. However, if you are a raving Stooges fanatic then this CD will likely be of some interest as both concerts include such rare tracks as Rich Bitch, Wet My Bed, I Got Nothing and Cock In My Pocket and the Latin Casino concert is almost 30 minutes longer than the band's average set list from this era.