Monster Magnet: Powertrip (A&M) Time was these rebel metal sleazers with a lust for Sabbathesque noise were wry fun because their bloated 70s grooves had an edgy knowingness - they rocked with panache. Now the brutish, dank rockouts are delivered with a straight face and Spinal Tap monikers ("Space Lord", "Temple Of Your Dreams"). Humorous detachment has deserted them, and so have good tunes. HH

Jesus & Mary Chain: Munki (Creation, below) This is the album that saw the J&MC return to their Creation roots after a decade away. And their lust for dirty, rapturous pop is still in evidence, even if surprises are in short supply. Best is the slinky menace of "Perfume" and the melancholic strummer "Never Understood", but most of the time they don't know if they are still in adolescent love with the music scene or want to declare war on it ("Ihaterockandroll"). HHH

N-Tyce - All Day Every Day (Telstar) N-Tyce are the result of demonic, poisonous forces called marketing men, make no mistake. It's all about positioning, y'see - they're not as squeaky clean as Eternal, more US- geared than All Saints, but fill those Wonderbras as well as the Spice Girls. Even after drafting in a battalion of producers and writers, all N-tyce have are a string of funky-soul bouncers that are luke-warm on the pop thrills front. HHH

Barry Adamson: As Above, So Below (Mute) This man has been to BBC drama series soundtracks what Andrew Lloyd Webber is to West End musicals. Well, getting there. His scores are mostly a blend of jazz and soft classical moods, but soul and avant-garde blues also flit around his landscapes, which are only let down by somewhat bloodless vocals. But a mischievous, 50s pulp fiction way with narrative means his style hooks you in better than most. HHH

Angela Lewis