Mad About The Wrong Boy (1980)
Outline Of A Hairdo EP (1980)
The Attractions Without The Star Attraction
Musically, Elvis Costello’s backing band, The Attractions, mine familiar surrounds, which should be recognizable to fans of Elvis, Nick Lowe and the new wave in general. What’s lacking, however – and why this is their only album – is a star attraction. Keyboardist Steve Nieve may have been one of the new wave’s most talented utility men (hands down), but he wasn’t much of a frontman. So, The Attractions, while hitting their marks, tend to be a bit on the faceless side. Which doesn’t mean the music is. Far from it really, as The Attractions were the nimblest of post-punk bands, able to color virtually every outside-the-genre idea Boss Costello could concoct. These compositions, however, just don’t challenge the band’s chops and remain this LP’s toughest nut to crack. Vocally, Nieve comes from the Nick Lowe school of rock (without Lowe’s maddening habit of staying in tune), though the liner notes (or lack of) aren’t specific about who sings what. It’s possible Bruce and/or Pete Thomas may be vocalizing the few tunes they composed, but the majority of this material was written by Nieve (sometimes with his girlfriend, occasionally credited as Brain/Hart). Musically, the instrumentation is dense with military beats and new wavey organs, a lot of what you got from Costello’s Armed Forces, recorded around the same time. It’s fun, but sometimes tough to absorb… or, in the parlance of the trade… not real catchy. The 4 track EP, Outline Of A Hairdo, is a selection of short instrumentals Nieve composed for a low-budget film. (Note: The EP is extremely noisy, kind of expected from quiet piano passages on 45 vinyl). The 90s CD issue is out of print (natch), but it’s at Amazon(HERE) and includes the EP.
Mad About The Wrong Boy
Arms Race (3:00)
Little Miss Understanding (2:23)
Straight Jacket (2:23)
Mad About The Wrong Boy (2:41)
On The Third Stroke (2:08)
Slow Patience (2:16)
La-La-La-La-La Loved You (2:22)
Single Girl (2:28)
Lonesome Little Town (3:14)
Taste Of Poison (3:03)
Highrise Housewife (2:44)
Talk About Me (2:12)
Sad About Girls (3:19)
Camera, Camera (3:17)
Outline Of A Hairdo EP
Outline Of A Hairdo (1:02)
Page One Of A Dead Girl’s Diary (1:27)
Sparrow Crap (1:06)
The Tap Dancer (1:55)
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