Another couple just done that plopping sound through the letter box. Letís see what we have.

First up is a single by a Welsh band called Best. Which is pushing it. Extreme confidence or leaving themselves open to abuse. Whichever way, Iíll leave that to others. Three tracks on offer, which with a running time of just over 6 minutes means they donít hang around or give you much time to make a real opinion. Itís fast and frentic, fairly well all over the place. If you like precision in your music, youíre not really going to find it here. The production is suitably messy as well, but it suits what theyíre doing. First one is called Huwuno, distorted vocals and singing something about Coca Cola. Viva Minor Legends is next, a thrashing intro, those vocals are distorted and right in your face, a furious middle section. Over in about a minute or even less. Nice. Finally King Sneak is a bit more restrained, a familiar riff, but they manage throughout everything to retain a sense of melody, even if you sometimes have to filter through the distortion to find it. Nice stuff, but the Best? Wouldnít go that far.

Next CD is by Inhale who offer up a 19 tracker titled Chang. A homage to producer extrodairnairre Dave Chang perhaps? Probably not, but itís a thought. Anyway, this starts up with a right old distorted industrial tinged sort of thing by way of Second Chance. From here itís a mixture of overly distorted sounds, electronics, beeps and everything packaged into a sort of industrial type sound. Iím not too sure about it all, sometimes the titles are a little more intriguing than the actual music - is Iommi (part 1) and Iommi (part 2) going to be a tribute to the Sabbath guitarist and is Mystery Machine going to contain the Scooby Doo them tune. The answers? Well, er, no and no. Shame. Though Mystery Machine has a nice thick guitar riff riding through it, itís one of the more conventional moments here, easier for me to get into an enjoy. And during D.I.S.C.O. cheesy American cops in massive flares from 70s series cross my mind. Yeah, thereís some good stuff here, Thuder Disco is one of the more musical moments, Galaxians comes across as a collection of noises that actually works as far as noises go. And HE3C0100A isnít as stupid as itís title.

I guess if youíre more into electronic kind of music with a definite rock edge than I am, then you may well like this. Me though, Iím pretty indifferent to it. I can sit through it, but I canít in all honesty see myself reaching for it on many occassions. Iím not really that clued up on this sort of thing, there are times when I can hear little bits of NIN and a harder edged Prodigy in there, but I suspect they are shoddy references based on little knowledge on my behalf.

Best and Inhale are both available from Seriously Groovy music.


Now weíve got Violet Ultra with Psychobabble. There are two things that run through the mind as I play this, but enough about my problems. Violet Ultra offer up 13 tracks which bring to mind Nirvana and Therapy? Hey, anyone remember when Therapy? were actually being compared to Nirvana. something to do with both bands being "power trios" at the time as I recall. Anyway, this isnít them, itís Ultra Violet, but the structure of the mai riff running through opener Perfect World seems to emerge straight from the textbook that smells of Teen Spirit. And then halfway through mutates Nowhere. I know, thatís all way too cheap and easy of me. Everyone has their influences, and if they coincide with that which you like, then quite often it doesnít matter how blatant the influence is. Thing is, I love the Troublegum album, and Nevermind isnít half bad either, so Ultra Violet are up against it in terms of what theyíre competing with. And besides, that new Therapy? album is due in a couple of weeks apparently. Oooh goody.

Kids are Killing is a good song, great hookline, simple. But oh itís Therapy? so much, the vocals are definite Andy Cairns. But donít let the obvious influence put you off, cos if they become half as good as Therapy? (and theyíre on the way, just a little more of their own identity next time - please, we could really be talking something then) then thatís a good thing. Itís just that at the moment, as the album progresses, you find yourself trying to decide which Therapy? or which Nirvana riff the current song actually has at its heart. Time and time again, through the likes of Valentine and Cyanide Smile. But theyíre good songs, Spinebreaker, itís not bad at all. Oh, Deadlights has that Nirvana thing. No sorry, I must corrent myself. Itís that riff style that Nirvana nicked from the Pixies. Iím just a rat in a cage - hang on, thatís a Smashing Pumpkin lyric ainít it? But itís what ran through my head as Deadlights reached its chorus. And I donít even listen to SPís. I hate that, I spend half the time desperately trying to put a name to what certain songs sound like, something that I know intimately, and then you get that pops into the head and I immediately recognise what it was I was thinking of. Bugger. Got to admit though, I find the track Rhianon really annoying. Donít like that one. As a result of the constant comparisons I find myself making, the album looses momentum because of association rather than crap music. If you like some of the names mentioned, and you want more to listen to, and give a UK band the chance at the same time, try out Violet Ultra.

Available on Copro Records.