Polanski God Only Knows Tate Records - Out Now

God Only Knows starts off in fine fettle with a baseline reminiscent of Primal Screen's Kolwoski and a riff which sends one into the guitar rock stratosphere. The lyrical accompaniment if not a bit predictable aint bad either. It's a nice sound but one feels as if the high adrenaline chorus is so indistinguishable from the verse that a bit of differentiation wouldn't have gone amiss.
Mike Williams
Younger Younger 28s We're Going Out V2 Records - Out Now

'We're Going Out' swoons a female vocalist in a harsh cockney accent determined to avoid pronunciation of any 'aitches'. This is followed by that Graham bloke off Blind Date announcing the venue for tonight's frolicking, variously Liverpool, Tyne and Wear and Ibiza throughout the song. Repeat, tediously, over and over again until fade. This is the nausiating post-Britpop fallout at its very worst, shamelessly targetting the teeny-bop, girl power audience with such cringeworthy lyrics as, 'pull in me butt cheeks, push out me chest, we're going out.' Aaaah! The vocals are vaguely reminiscent of Kenicke, which is extremely unfortunate, while the Bis style electro pop is lazily splayed out as if purely incidental. 'A packet of three' is one of the items on the list of things for the Younger Younger 28s to take out with them. Chances of pulling: zero.
Guernica
Remy Zero Gramarye EP Geffen Records - Out Now

In a sense, this record is quite an achievement - if only in that, given how staggeringly featureless and unmemorable the lead song is, it's an impressive feat that the band are actually able to play it at all. Just how do they all manage to move into the chorus at the same time? Or guess when the instrumental breaks are coming in? Remarkable, really quite remarkable. Having listened to it at least five times over, it's still completely beyond me...
Michael Deacon
Cooler Disco Sucks Fruition records - Out Now

Cooler obviously have themselves down as some 21st century scuzz dance pioneers determined to oust the current trend for seventies disco beat. Producing a record which sounds like the backing music to a corny US aerobics video is probably not the best way to go about it. The gnarled cry of 'shake your legs up' which infiltrates the maelstrom of electronic effects summons visions of lycra clad 30- somethings burning off those calories. Whatsmore, the shout of 'Disco sucks' forcibly shoved down your throat every 30 seconds sounds as if it might have been generated by the paltry crowd on the terrace behind the goal of some skint third division football club. C'mon, when you place this slapdash mess of fuzz next to 'Disco Inferno' by the Tramps, or just glance at the sheer audacity of Sister Sledge's bell bottoms, the contest is over. Disco rules, you chancers.
Guernica
Garbage You Look So Fine Mushroom Records - Out Now

As Texas become some chart driven drivel, so Garbage become Texas. Can anyone stop this awful conveyor belt to mediocrity? But saying that You Look So Fine aint so bad for what it is - whatever that means. You Look So Fine is a sweet and saddening melancholy tune, the kind that Garbage have been past masters at in recent years. So if you're the kind of person who loves a sad story that ends up with a happy ending with a cup of Lemsip, a big comfy chair and the one that you love then your dreams reside here.
Mike Williams
Muse Uno e.p. Taste Records - Out Now

OH MY GOD!! I am thirty years old, I am cynical, and I have heard a lot of bands come and go, but every now and then, something beautiful comes along. Once in a while you hear a song that leaves you grinning stupidly, and Muse have just hit me with four in a row, on one e.p. Opener UNO, is a fantastic Latin love song, a rumba with guitars the size of Alaska, soaring vocals and a bass line that's equal parts haunting and frightening in its vice like grip. Produced by John Leckie, for those who like their sounds big! Track two, Jimmy Kane, is funky and sleazy, like a greasy mechanic tuning up your beloved open top sports car, and making it purr like you never could. Track three is trip-hop on steroids, atmospheric and smooth, but with an underlying menace, and the most effective use of vocal effects I can remember hearing, culminating in a chaotic climax. Closing track Agitated is power punk pop like your uncle Kurt used to make, with some fine muscular guitar action, which is guaranteed to have you pogoing round your room in a frenzy, only to realise that your girlfriend/boyfriend has just brought their parents round for tea! This recording must grace every record collection in the educated world; global sanity depends upon it.
Shaun Doane
NT Positive-ism Epic records - Out Now

The jingly-jangly guitar intro to Positive-ism sounds nearly good enough to forgive NT for releasing the most ridiculously named single of the year. Unfortunately, it's all downhill from there. Seal-esque wailing over fractious soul beats and much frenetic strumming fails to really inspire. Its the time of year when everyone goes all daft on summery riffs and uplifting melodies you fling open your windows to release on unsuspecting neighbours. This is the genre NT are aiming for, but Positive-ism is one of those records you can't really see anyone ever buying. The melody is so nondescript it tends to disappear into the balck hole where all those tedious pop songs go which you still don't remember after Radio One have played them seventeen times before lunch. In one ear, out the other. Not much to be positive about.
Guernica
Retardot Hook, Line and Sinker Watt Noiz Records - Out Now

Retardot are two tongues in a cheek. They sport a krazee ska sound with a farting trumpet dancing all over the record like a drunken fly. The sound is pretty formulaic but pleasant all the same.
Mike Williams
The Miracle Mile Walking John Wayne EP Demon records - Out Now

You can imagine The Miracle Mile being profoundly affecting if you were to sit, soaking them up in a small, smokey, underground club with a tumbler of rum for company. Walking John Wayne and the other three tracks which make up this EP are absolute treasures. Slices of melancholy marinated in wistful finger picked guitar and served up with resonating vocals tugging at some heart strings. They sound like Paul Weller without the sound effects of 20 Benson and Hedges, like Crowded House without the slush or like Phil Collins without being awful. It's a record for drowning your sorrows to, for filling the crevices of regret. It's an enveloping smoke screen of emotion which tiptoes unobtrusively from the speakers to keep you company for a while. The formula is so simple you almost don't notice there's anything going on aside from the lyric narrative of unrequited love in whatever shape or form. But The Miracle Mile have that rare talent for producing something stirringly beautiful from nothing more than emotion and intelligent musicianship.
Guernica
New Electrics Get Together Fruition Records - Out Now

You know, the British music scene is simply crying out for more bands like New Electrics. Reedy, whining vocals, stupefyingly derivative riffs, tinny production, the prioritising of image over content, 'ironically' trite lyrics... Inspired or what! If only we could unearth a few more gems like this. C'mon, it'd be a licence to print money! We could call it, ooh, I dunno, 'Britpop' or something! Eh? What do you mean, it's been done to death already? Really? Oh. Shit, man, better go and tell the New Electrics that as soon as possible before the poor unsuspecting bastards inadvertently humiliate themselves at all further by putting out any more of this stuff...
Michael Deacon