Red Flag - 2003 - 44 minutes

Producer Ted Nicely has presided over some of the finest guitar records to emerge from the US (Fugazi, Girls Against Boys and Jawbox have all been clients); now he can add Future Kings of Spain to that list - and they're from Dublin.

Their name is the only thing you'll have to forgive here because over the 11 tracks the trio does all the right things, putting plenty of more high profile outfits and their output to shame. There's great anger in the likes of 'A Place for Everything' and 'Face I Know', but they also show their pop smarts too on 'Venetian Blinds' and 'Hanging Around'. More startling than them all, however, is 'Simple Fact', a song that builds from ballad to roar and hopefully signposts the future.

Future Kings of Spain may have a big thank you to say to J Mascis, Ian MacKaye and Rivers Cuomo - but that could be dwarfed by the one you'll have for them after hearing this.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: A Place for Everything - Your Starlight - Venetian Blinds - Hanging Around - One Look - Simple Fact - Meanest Sound - So Wrong - Face I Know - Traps - Upside Down