Pop: I'm Sure I Saw Them on A Poster...

The Independent's Regular Round-Up of New Bands: TO ROCOCO ROT QEH, LONDON u YOUNGER YOUNGER 28s IMPROV THEATRE, LONDON u GROUCH KING'S CROSS WATER RATS, LONDON
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THERE IS a scene in the French insect film, Microcosmos, in which a scarab accidentally impales a giant food pellet on a thorn, and makes comically mulish attempts to dislodge it. It was as if the Dusseldorf trio To Rococo Rot had this scene in mind throughout "A Little Asphalt Here And There". Languid soundscapes gave rise to a tangible tautness, as if evoking the beetle's increasing frustration, while densely abstract keyboard effects and rumbling live drums signified its graduation from bafflement to ire. Even the percussive scraping noises called to mind the chafing of little insect legs against lumps of grit.

Despite their modish enthusiasm for electronica, To Rococo Rot were untainted by fashion. Their Krautrock-inspired experimentation showed a wilful disregard for the turntable, opting instead for vast atmospherics and slow-burning rhythms. There was also a palpable humour to their sonic meandering, particularly with the introduction of synthesised quacking - perhaps revealing an interest in farmyard animals as well as insects. David Attenborough should be alerted. His melodious narration is in danger of becoming obsolete.

An injection of humour would have done wonders for the guitar-driven Grouch, whose name was all too resonant of the atmosphere they created. It wasn't talent that they were lacking - technically they couldn't be faulted - it was imagination. What's the point of honing your musical skills if you're going to squander them on recycled ideas?

At the other end of the musical spectrum were the Younger Younger 28s. This Sheffield-based band comprised a Jimi Tenor-style programmer, a rockabilly singer, and two female vocalists who gave new meaning to the term "trailer- park trash". Whirling organs and electro-rhythms gloriously ripped off the Human League's Eighties synth, while the girl's syrupy vocals and barbed lyrics plunged new depths of self-parody. You could see a shiver running down the spine of every man in the place as they yelled "You're crap in bed". The Younger Younger 28s made you want to run riot and re- enact your teenage glory days. Indeed, their panto pop would be perfect for the teen market were it not for the seam of smut. Lines like "I wanna be a teenage boy's wet dream" are not going to get them on Top of the Pops.

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