Rollerskate Skinny
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Shoulder Voices, 7/10
Horsedrawn Wishes, 6/10
Lotus Crown: Chokin' On The Jokes , 6/10
Kid Silver: Dead City Sunbeams , 6/10

(Translated from my original Italian text by Gavin Hogg)

Rollerskate Skinny, the band lead by Jimi Shields (brother of My Bloody Valentine's Kevin) emerged from a clutch of Irish dream pop bands with the singles "Novice" (Showbiz, 1992) and Trophy (Placebo, 1993). The album Shoulder Voices (Placebo, 1993 - Beggars Banquet, 1994) saw them perfecting the chaotic pop reminiscent of Mercury Rev. Ger (guitar) and Ken (singer) Griffin were attempting to rediscover the classic pop song in a more fluid, intiuitive format (songs such as Bow Hitch-hiker and Miss Leader).

After Shields left the group, the next release was Horsedrawn Wishes (Warner Bros, 1996). This album was more original, consisting fundamentally of glorious, baroque pop. Under a thick, sleepy blanket of sonorous effects songs like Man Under Glass and Shimmer Son like a Star were made widescreen. Swingboat Yawning and Speed To My Side were straighter pop. The record's levels of experimentation can be compared to The Beatles' Sgt Pepper, even though some tracks (One Thousand Couples, Thirsty European, Bell Jars Away) reminded one more of Love And Rockets. The Brian Wilson trademark of orchestral grandeur used by Griffin, seemd to point the way to a bubblegum pop future.

Shields meanwhile had formed Lotus Crown and their EP Alvar Aalto (Throwrug, 1996) was relased soon after his exit. The album Chokin' On The Jokes (Reprise, 1997), resumed the creativity of the first Rollerskate Skinny album. The better songs were in the vein of Mercury Rev, with easy on the ear melodies and harmonies from Heaven (Well/Mother' s).

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Kid Silver is the monicker under which Ken Griffin recorded Dead City Sunbeams (Jetset, 1999), a surprisingly creative album. Alternatively operatic and romantic, David Bowie and Nick Cave (Punchdrunk), Brit-popper (Dead City Sunbeams) and latin dance-popper (Devils, Breadcrumbs), Griffin wreaks havoc of drum'n'bass (Keep Warm) and trip hop (24 Last Days Of The Lilac) the way a Captain Beefheart would have. The experiments peak with the Don't Bring Tears To A Table, a duet of Syd Barrett-ian guitar and Alen Raventine-ian synthesizer.

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