The Information on: `The Elastica EP'

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What Is It?

The first new material in four and a half years from one of the essential Britpop outfits. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1995, crammed 15 raucous tracks into barely 30 minutes.

Why the Delay?

It depends which rumours you listen to. Drugs, "artistic differences" and the break-up of lead singer Justine Frischmann's long-term relationship with Damon Albarn have all been mentioned. Frishmann claims she "forgot" to write a follow-up.

Who's In it?

In four years, they have lost their original bass player, only to get her back again, and have lost (for good) guitarist and co-songwriter, Donna Matthews. They've also hired two new members on keyboards.

What They Say About It

"The whole thing is over in 16 and a half minutes. It's fresh and fun. The only question is how it could have taken more than a week to record," Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday.

"It's hard to think if Elastica could return, after so many dark rumours, with anything more deliberately primed to confound as this purposefully shoddy, oddly good EP," John Mulver, NME.

"That they are finally back should be a huge cause for celebration. So why have they returned with the joyless collection of six bare-bone demos that makes up this EP? Lazy," Paul Connelly, The Times.

Where You Can Hear Them

The Elastica EP is on release from Deceptive Records. Elastica play the Reading Festival this weekend, Richfield Ave, Reading (info: 0171-344 0044) today to Sun