• Hipsway
  • Hipsway (Columbia) 1986 
  • Scratch the Surface (UK Mercury) 1989 

This stylish and boring Scottish soul-funk quartet includes ex-Altered Images bassist John McElhone. (His brother, another former Image, manages the band.) Not unlike several other current Scottish bands, Hipsway takes its cues from various black American artists, mixing dance rhythms, percussive guitar and smooth vocals, but winds up mostly sounding like INXS. “The Broken Years” is annoyingly herky-jerky; “The Honeythief” is nearly as distracting for the same reasons. Grahame Skinner has an appropriately husky voice, but is not an especially involving singer; the backing is clever and varied, but never captivating.

[Terry Rompers]

See also: Altered Images