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The sleaze factor: the Government's got it and so have New York City's steaming Girls Against Boys, who turn it into sensuous charm. It oozes from songs on the new album, Cruise Yourself (Touch and Go), whether in their scorched-earth way with a riff or the ice-wit lyrics, which always sound culled from drawled, glazed-eyed conversations in bars, way past midnight.

Probably because they are.

Vocalist Scott McCloud, it turns out, is an arch eavesdropper. Utterings that drop untutored from people's mouths are legitimate - not to mention priceless - source material, he reckons. 'I'm interested in people; in the way they talk,' he says. 'One person I met recently was showing off his shoes. He was from Hawaii, he had been a club owner there . . . he was going on and on. He was a nutcase. But his way of speaking was great - a gold-mine of saved-up lines.'

An awesome show at the Phoenix Festival has meant a rising profile - all this week Radio 1 has played specially recorded tracks for the Evening Session, and the London Astoria 2 show is their biggest headline date yet.

But when they all head back home, Scott will face the no-apartment situation that's lasted 18 months, immortalised on the single '(I) Don't Got A Place'.

When he finds a home again, what'll be the three most important things in it? 'I wanna window that doesn't look onto a brick wall. I would like a really nice sofa, and a set of glassware.' Like I said, charming.

Girls Against Boys, LA2, Charing Cross Road (071-434 0403) 29 Oct, pounds 6 (Photograph omitted)

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