2002 – Mute – 47 minutes

It's not that long since the anarchic rockabilly noise of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion was considered deconstructively cool. Calling themselves blues when they so obviously weren't and plying their brand of punk meets Elvis à la Cramps, Brainiac and Gallon Drunk won them a legion of fans. However the JSBE's country twinges and mainstream excluded them from the kind of cool commanded by these outfits. Spencer himself has never quite been able to shake off accusations of more front than talent since his Pussy Galore Days.

So in the year 2002, he releases an album that if you were told was 10 years old you would not argue the fact. If there is an audience for the type of noise-funk-rock he tries but fails to pull off, they have already been won over by The Hives and The White Stripes. This jaded tat just doesn't compete.

Any highlights? Well not really, unless you like your rock regressive and dated. 'Down In The Beast' rocks out, but only because it sounds like any number of colossal 70s rock bands. On most of the poor offerings here, Spencer sounds like a parody of himself and every guitar solo is a clichéd yawn. 'Plastic Fang' tries very hard to be contemporary, noisy guitar rock but it lacks bite of any kind. Avoid unless you're a fan.

Sinéad Gleeson

Tracklisting: Sweet 'n' sour - She said - Monkey rock 'n' roll - Killer wolf - Tore up and broke - Hold on - Down in the beast - Shakin' rock 'n' roll tonight - Midnight creep - Over and over - Mother Nature - Mean heart