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The Dexateens `Red Dust Rising' (Estrus)

If Kings of Leon's take on southern rock is too prefabricated for your ears, these heads-down Tuscaloosa, Alabama types have the remedy. They sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd meets The Hellacopters, with a dynamic edge courtesy of producer Tim Kerr. Memorable moments include the duelling harmonies on "Anna Lee" and the very dirty "CoalMine Lung". HHHH

High On Fire `Blessed Black Wings' (Relapse)

One of the year's most important metal releases sees this US trio team up with Steve Albini on something at once truly Neanderthal and rich in subtleties. Slayer and Motorhead spring to mind as reference points, but Matt Pike's guitar lines add a distinct flavour, while the rhythm section set about dismantling your bass bins. HHHH

The Superimposers `The Superimposers' (Little League Records)

The young, London studio-based duo of Dan Warden and Miles Copeland compile four limited-edition singles on to a fine sampler album of gorgeously sleepy pop-psychedelia, with dreamy harmonies and the occasional Spiritualized- ish edge. It's sure to broaden the fanbase of these "ones to watch". HHH

The Tenderfoot `Vale Industrial' (5.15)

After a whimsical lead track, this Brighton quintet's six-track debut boasts a pleasant indie ambience. Transatlantic in approach, Tenderfoot marry the quirkiness of The Modern Lovers to a smidgeon of Spoke-era Calexico, and let it blossom with off-kilter melodies that recall Teenage Fanclub. A warm and richly detailed record. HHH

Bloc Party `Silent Alarm' (Wichita Recordings)

The great Brit hopes get out of the gate with an album that sounds like most of it could have been recorded in 1985. Their singles promised something fresh, but the album is, vocals aside, largely indebted to The Cure or their emo disciples, Thursday. Not quite the new kids on the bloc (sic) hoped for. HHH