Mike Skinner has a lot to answer for, not least the wave of streetwise mockney hip-hop troubadours hiding behind pseudonyms - Plan B, Just Jack, etc - as they relay their missives from the frontline of yoof-culture Britain. Jamie T (Treays) is the most fêted of them, scoring countless column inches largely through his novelty choice of acoustic bass as accompaniment for his one-man performances. "Brand New Bass Guitar", which opens this debut album, offers some idea of the format, Treays' vocal and bass thrash punctuated here with a Greek chorus of backing vocals. Elsewhere, a firmer superstructure is provided by primitive drum programmes and his spartan band. But while Treays is an occasionally nimble wordsmith, coolly rhyming "scallywag" with "Galahad", there's little depth to Panic Prevention, which offersdrearily repetitive rounds of booze, birds, backbiting and beatings, rattled out in Estuary English, over cramped backings fatally restricted by his chosen instrument. It's like Billy Bragg minus the moralising, not quite the improvement it might seem.
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