Music Article

New Hybrid Sounds

Hybrid sounds -- A quick hit of albums by EMF, Happy Mondays, Jesus Jones, Faith No More, and others

EMF's new album, Schubert Dip, is less impressive than their hit single, ''Unbelievable.'' The pseudo-anthemic ''Children'' is typical: a blurry blend of New Wave guitar and standard-issue house beats that's insipid rather than insurrectionary. Only another accusatory put-down song, ''Lies,'' asserts itself as brutally as the hit. B-

Primus, a Bay Area trio, has just released Sailing the Seas of Cheese. They're too self-consciously goofy for their own good, but their rubber-boned thrash-funk can be cartoonish fun. B+

Other current dance-funk-rock hybrids:

Fishbone The Reality Of My Surroundings. Almost capturing the pell-mell mania of the group's live show. B

Happy Mondays Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches. Messy but mesmerizing. A-

Jesus Jones Doubt. Including the single ''Right Here, Right Now,'' close to a perfect fusion of rock and house. B

The new genre's classics:

Red Hot Chilli Peppers The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Flailing, freaked-out funk. A-

Faith No More The Real Thing. Torrid, overwrought, but genuinely epic fusion of metal, funk, rap, and progressive rock. A

Urban Dance Squad Mental Floss for the Globe. Hazy, frenetic collage of rap, rock, funk, dub, reggae, soul — you name it. A-

Jane's Addiction Ritual de lo Habitual. Tribal rhythms, David Navarro's raging guitar virtuosity, and singer Perry Farrell's arty obsessions merge to form one of the inspirational sounds of the '90s. A+

Originally posted May 24, 1991 Published in issue #67 May 24, 1991 Order article reprints