VARIOUS NME Clean Sweep (NME)
Being a 75 minute 15 track CD taped to the front of the first issue of the new improved formula (i.e. looks like a Sunday colour supplement) NME, "Clean Sweep" contains live tunes recorded during a weeks worth of NME-sponsored gigs staged at Londons Astoria theatre during January, highlights of which were also shown on Channel 4.
As a handy pocket-sized guide to what kids with guitars are up to these days, its indispensable (apart from the continuation of the NMEs bizarre denial of the excellence of Glitterbox). Super Furry Animals do their Syd Barrett-meets-Status Quo boogie thing on "Bad Behaviour" (originally to be found on their fine debut album "Fuzzy Logic"), the mighty Mogwai contribute eight minutes of instrumental guitar tightrope trauma called "Ex Cowboy", Therapy? are actually quite good, for a change and Theaudiences "I Never Have Been Done" sounds like a 90s Pretenders duetting with Kirsty McColl, which is a Good Thing. There are also fine contributions from Stereophonics, Travis, Warm Jets and Dawn Of The Replicants.
In fact, the only misses are those bands who rely, partly or entirely, on a dance element in their music, most of which either end up sounding horribly messy (Lo-Fidelity Allstars, Earl Brutus, Asian Dub Foundation) or too much like Bentley Rhythm Ace for my liking (er, Bentley Rhythm Ace). But the most serious case of copybook blotting is Spiritualized and Suicides collaboration on "Rocket USA", fifteen minutes of mumbling and formless drone rock. Thanks but no thanks. Still, theres something for everyone here...as long as you happen to like white boy guitar rock.