Album: Hard-Fi, Killer Sounds (Necessary/Atlantic)

Hard-Fi's third album certainly talks a good fight, with tracks titled "Feels Good", "Excitement" and, of course, "Killer Sounds", which perhaps reveals their ambition to become the British equivalent of The Killers.

But beneath the bluster it's pretty dull fare, the brittle rock-funk beats and brusque guitar riffs carrying songs that pay eager lip-service to energy and activity but actually offer a series of fairly empty experiences. At their best ("Feels Good"), they recall the INXS of "Need You Tonight"; at their worst ("Excitement"), they sound like The Police fronted by Alex Turner. And while "Killer Sounds" itself follows The Killers' drift into sub-Springsteenisms, the recommendation that young men "rejoice" in their youth by letting "destruction be a friend to you" has been roundly trumped by circumstance. Good advice, guys.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Feels Good; Good for Nothing