V2 – 2001 – 57 minutes

"I had self-belief, they don't compromise," sings Elbow singer Guy Garvey on 'Can't Stop'. Could he be referring to the two major labels who dropped the band before they'd even released their first album? Three years ago they were signed by Universal but within twelve months were surplus to requirements, a dalliance with EMI - which was also to end in tears - followed. Both lost out, big time, because the taut, troubled rock of 'Asleep In The Back' (another record company reference?) makes it one of the most engrossing and accomplished debuts you're likely to hear anytime soon.

Sounding every bleary-eyed beat like the band who stay up way later than everyone else, Garvey covers the perils of the dating game ('Bitten By The Tailfly', 'Coming Second'), and dreams of suburban breakouts ('Any Day Now', Little Beast'), always with the conviction of someone who knows that things can only get worse. But while their peers may sound like they've dreamed up the doomsday scenarios from the comfort of their bedrooms, you'll never doubt that the themes of these songs have been lived in for quite some time. Misery loves company...meet your new best friend.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Any Day Now – Red – Little Beast – Powder Blue – Bitten By The Tailfly – Newborn – Don't Mix Your Drinks – Presuming Ed – (Rest Easy) – Coming Second – Can't Stop