Deltasonic Records - 2004 - 40 minutes

Much expectation has preceded the arrival of this debut album from The Zutons, a band at the sharp end of the rejuvenated music scene in Liverpool. The argument that the city is currently one of the more fertile locations for music in the UK almost exclusively has its musical foundations in the fortunes of this band and their labelmates The Coral.

The success over the last two years of The Coral has cast a shadow over many of their hometown rivals, from which The Zutons are the first to emerge.

Seeming to find space on this album for as many instruments they can get their hands on, and putting the different sounds together with a real sense of purpose, it is difficult to dislike the direction The Zutons take their music. The song, 'Zuton Fever', is as assured an opening track as any you will hear, grasping an uptempo melody with true confidence and giving the album a momentum that is rarely lost.

To hear guitar music with a sense of rhythm that owes more to funk than the plodding pace of many of their peers is refreshing, and the tempo allows the less remarkable tracks to pass you by without too much fuss. The percussive 'Long Time Gone' and the hit in waiting, 'Remember Me', provide two real highlights, the latter in particular is a real Beatlesque slice of scouse pop.

In justifying the hype, The Zutons have now given cause for so much more with a record that is an assured step away from the pack. An album of real quality.

Ray Donoghue

Tracklisting: Zuton Fever - Pressure Point - You Will You Wont - Confusion - Havana Gang Brawl - Railroad - Long Time Coming - Nightmare Part II - Not A Lot To Do - Remember Me - Dirty Dancehall - Moons And Horror Shows