Hadouken!, Astoria, London

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The Independent Culture

They couldn't be more "now" if they tried. Named after a complicated attack from the computer game Street Fighter, Hadouken! combine the current sounds of hard rock, techno and grime. Next month, the band are set to release that staple of hip-hop, a mixtape, only available, naturally, on memory stick.

In the space of two singles they have amassed a vociferous following via networking sites, and this venue is on red alert, with stark warnings that photo ID may be necessary to attend the sold-out, 14-plus gig. The youthful crowd are excitable, realising that this is the group's breakthrough moment, chanting their name way before they come on.

When their heroes emerge to some apocalyptic voiceover, the five-piece's stylistic confusion belies their nu-rave roots. The singer James Smith still sports a baseball cap, though the smartly dressed keyboardist Alice Spooner could be trying out for the Sugababes, and the guitarist Dan "Pilau" Rice wears enough gothy mascara to encourage comparisons with Muse.

A similar status to those stadium titans remains a long way distant, though tonight Hadouken! show they are maturing fast. The early material is full of navel-gazing, with the worst culprit "That Boy That Girl", where Smith snipes at indie scenesters. In "Tuning In", he complains of chatting up a tedious female – though you wonder what she would make of him. He is less charismatic than Mike Skinner, more similar to the blander white rapper Example, and The Mitchell Brothers.

Such nuggets of youthful confidence do come with their own charm, dominated as they are by happy hardcore synths reminiscent of the fairgrounds that used to be a staple at outdoor raves. Beneath them, drums thunder and bass reverberates in an effective if limited manner. While he's not the best rapper, Smith is developing a rock voice that borrows equally from Foo Fighter Dave Grohl's growl and the needling delivery of Faith No More's Mike Patton.

Hadouken! handle the occasion with poise, though the frontman continues acting cool even as he introduces more considered numbers, most surprising of which is the slower "Spend Your Life".

The most important factor for now, though, is that the group avoid the clichés of typical rap-rock fusions purveyed by The Offspring and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Touring to 11 November (www.hadouken.co.uk)

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