VARIOUS ARTISTS Creation Records - International Guardians Of Rock ‘N’ Roll (Creation)

Sympathy for the record industry! A freebie sampler for those on the mailing list of the self-proclaimed (usually correctly) "greatest record label in the world" (perhaps intended to compensate the faithful for unimpressive releases from Primal Scream, Ride, Saint Etienne and Sugar, not to mention inflicting the whole Oasis joke on us), as the inlay says, "a number of our developing bands have made some amazing records and we though it would be a good idea to let you hear some of that music in case you missed it first time around". The Cramps a ‘developing band’? Adorable making an ‘amazing record’?

Ignoring such dichotomies, Velvet Crush jangle like an apprentice late-period Velvet Underground, A Certain Ratio and Teenage Filmstars offer impressive shuffly dance things, the BMX Bandits fuse Teenage Fanclub with The Field Mice and the divine Idha (wife of Ride’s Andy Bell) proves to be Sweden’s fabbest export since Abba. 18 Wheeler sound remarkably like "Third"-era Big Star, which is a Very Good Thing (though they lose points for calling a song "Gram"...any guesses as to Gram who?). Slowdive’s "Crazy For You" is great, sounds a bit like Ride’s "Leave Them All Behind" in very, very thick fog, while The Cramps are The Cramps on the self-explanatory "Sado County Auto Show". Love Corporation, a band whose sole reason for existing appears to be to contribute to Creation freebie tapes, filch Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young samples and appropriate "Take Five" ever so slightly to good effect, and even the Adorable track is bearable.

International guardians of rock ‘n’ roll? Definitely (maybe!), but can we have some good albums in 1995, please?