Pop: Album Reviews

The Italian Flag: Prolapse (Radar)

Chaos pop from the bolshie edge of indiedom, courtesy of Leicester's Prolapse, know for live performances which seethe with clanging momentum. Key to their charm are the two vocalists; warbling battle maiden Linda Steelyard and uncouth, shouty Scot Mick Derrick who forever struggle with each other for supremacy. And the results, on tracks like "Killing The Bland", are strangely joyous and sexually dynamic. Enough to seduce actress Drew Barrymore, who's a big fan, apparently.

Peace and Noise: Patti Smith (Arista)

The elder stateswoman of rock still possesses more distilled punk attitude and verve in one album than half a dozen Green Day-type bands could manage in a career. Here, she turns her authoritative, jagged-edge voice to issues scarring America's consciousness, from the Vietnam legacy to Aids. She hits a Springsteen-ish note in "Dead City", but is no less compelling for that.

Maverick A Strike: Finley Quaye (below, epic)

The bass-heavy roots reggae of "Ultra Stimulation" opens the debut album from Mr Quaye, but it is just the first of many stylistic outfits he tries for size here. "Maverick A Strike" is a genuine eye-opener and an uplifting voyage, which includes singles "Sunday Shining" and "Even After All". He thrives on the same open-hearted, eclectic-minded, spiritually righteous adrenaline that made Bjork a star. Glorious.

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