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Picks and Pans Review: Backwards and Forwards

updated 05/20/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/20/1985 01:00AM

Aztec Camera

This five-song EP is a précis of the Scottish group's recording career. Because four of the songs were recorded live at London's Dominion Theatre, they suggest the immediacy of High Land, Hard Pain, Aztec Camera's primitive-sounding first release. But aspects of the group's performance reflect some of the sophistication and suavity of its second album, Knife. Young singer-guitarist Roddy Frame is especially impressive. For some songs he displays the same studious disregard for pitch that Lou Reed has maintained. But on the folk-oriented tunes, The Birth of the True and Mattress of Wire, Frame's voice is quite flattering to the melody, on target note for note. The music of Aztec Camera is too modern to be considered hootenanny, but it is a forceful reminder of how creative and moving the acoustic guitar can be. (Sire)

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