Unbelievable Truth: Almost Here (Virgin, below) A true beaut of a debut album entrance from Oxford's TUT, with 11 arresting songs that eschew everything the Cool Britannia party has to offer. Andy Yorke's gorgeous vocals are at the heart of tracks like "Building", which are courageously, unfashionably, simple. "Higher Than Reason" shows the band at their most emotionally bruising, along with "Finest Little Space" - a song about Andy's older brother Thom, perhaps? HHHH

Girls Against Boys: Freak On ICA (Geffen) GaB have had a long stint away, and now the growling Scott McCloud-fronted New Yorkers are back, happily. It seems on tracks like "Psycho Future" these rock burners have added Millennium paranoia to the list of woes to which they turn their venom to. Every song is a bleak cocktail of bad blues, but with an idiosyncracy that's made them much missed. HHH

Curve: Come Clean (Universal) They may have straddled the pop, dance and rock world with futuristic dynamism in 1991 before they fell apart, but now the sleek fusion of elements which propelled Curve upwards is pretty commonplace. Heard of Garbage, anyone? With a host of name producers roped in, of course there are high octane winners, like "Dirty High", but for all their melodramatic techno bravado, Curve are rarely genuinely affecting. HH

Headswim: Despite Yourself (Epic) Metallists who reinvented themselves as post-Radiohead angsters, Headswim are sonic hot bloods with a certain grace. The mix of elements on "Moving On" - skeletal acoustic start, funky synth build-up - is typical of the good detail here, but the vocalist's yowling of self-conscious lyrics in songs like "Beneath A Black Moon" spoils it a bit. HH