Let's cut to the chase. There are a lot of tracks on this here label compilation that I simply cannot take seriously. Am I supposed to feel this way or do I need a more nagging sense of irony to simply enjoy music these days?

This is a revelation in itself. I think I'm just a bit too old for this.

Still, there is some good stuff; Captain Polaroid is an up-and-coming disciple of basic Americana and he is really very good. He writes about social awkwardness which will definitely appeal to ver kids innit; The Faeries Band mix a touch of Hole/ The Breeders/ The Bangles with a sliver of Clueless-inspired pop to present sloppily played guitar and overtly sexual cheekiness about boys looking for their pants the morning after and wishing they had done it on the dance-floor instead. Their spiky punk rock has also been on "This morning". Girl power and all that; Hamburg's The Peeptoes are quite similar to The Faeries Band but have a much better name; Billy Ruffian chugs along nicely, trying to fuse politics and cabaret with some success, bringing minimalist punk-rock from the streets of Manchester for a catchy frenzy of story-telling pleasantries (see "Music Vs Money" for a suitable example).

And The Vichy Government are pants. Having supported Scissor Sisters, they are apparently the most offensive band in Britain. I'll give them that actually, they are absolutely dreadful. Their version of Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" features a Northern Irish accent over synth. For those who find this kind of novelty appealing, wake up. I want to go and get a very large knife and throw it- hopefully I'll bypass the Casio and get straight to the point; Glaswegian duo Gay Against You also play lo-fi extremely badly, it would be more fun if it wasn't, how do you say? So shite. At least "Gay Unicorn" was a little structured. But it was still just a load of bollocks; Beacons are indie/folk with a drum machine apparently getting their namesake because they guide navigators to their destinations. When the vocals kick in, this could well end up being the edge of the nearest motorway flyover; The Art Goblins are self-proclaimed "wonky art-poppers" who like to attack all things Welsh with the medium of glockenspiel. I would replace the vowel in that one. "Nicky Wire can suck my cock" is not subversive but reminds me of drunk karaeoke I used to do when I was fourteen and should never be allowed to get into the wrong hands.

And the stuff that falls somewhere in between: Shisho are cute yet badly sung. Their track "Courtney sat on a rock" is described as "rainbow jumpin' kid core!" and features the lyrics "Courtney got bit on the butt and she cried and she cried". Albeit possibly the coolest kids in school, the two girls that perform herein, Midge and Vivian, are led by the mysterious Professor Peushu which is just wrong if you ask me. They are working on an under-18s record label and download site, bless them. Adorable, if a little irritating; Hyperbubble say that sequencers are the key to the future but need to brush up on their lyrical content: "Clean up on aisle 3" lays the foundation for their track "Supermarket Casanova" which could be a lot more credible than it is. The beats are quite Fischerspooner at times but the rest, er, is not. Lots of samples and sound effects make for some fun electro which is not at all meaningful but you would dance to it if you were drunk. Well, I would.

Anna C

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