DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Cath. A natural sorrow seeps through this wonderfully dishevelled song about unfulfilled longing and broken dreams as Cath ponders her future in a “hand-me-down wedding dress.”
THE B52s: Juliet Of The Spirits. A lot of looking back in time here. The 80s band have been influenced by the film Juliet Of The Spirits directed by Frederico Fellini in 1965 who inspired their look and hair. Quite how a surrealist film about an Italian housewife fits in with the pogoing, bass-led harmonious pop is unclear.
MELEE: Built To Last. Think of Bruce Hornsby And The Range at a Beach Boys convention.
THE RIFLES: I Could Never Lie. The London band are almost having more fun than Madness here with this syncho pop punk joy that delves into the hopeless daydreams of beer-soaked romanticism.
PRIMAL SCREAM: Can’t Go Back. High energy rock pop that rattles along at breathtaking speed, cushioned only by the scuzzy guitars and soft-edged vocals.
CUTE IS WHAT WE AIM FOR: Rotation. And cute is just about what you get from the New Yorkers’ jeans and trainers pop punk whose single, Practice Makes Perfect, is a fair reflection of what to expect on the album. Beware, it’s the strongest track with far too many others blighted by limited appeal and longevity as they start to sound worryingly samey. As much impact as beating a sponge up with candy floss.
XX TEENS: Welcome To Goon Island. If they are playing at this island, sail straight past. This arty pop – which seems to take its cue from Talking Heads and then twists it out of all perspective – is out to be as inaccessible as an island inhabited by goons.
VILE IMBECILES: Queenie Was A Blonde. At last, a band that really lives up to its name. Avant-garde, disjointed, scratchy sludge. One to bury deep in the garden – and don’t bother to mark the spot with a cross.
VENOM: Hell. Hell have no fury like black metallists going at it hammer and tong. This is a cage fight between the God Of War and the God Of Thunder with a werewolf as MC and only Motorhead maniacs allowed to watch while baying for blood. There is a time and a place for this – and it’s when you’re already in hell.