Scientific Laboratories - 2004 - 27 minutes

The rock limelight is being dominated at the moment by throwbacks - The Darkness have taken long-haired spandex retro-glam back to the mainstream, while tabloid favourites The Libertines, however unintentionally, have returned the rock excesses of heavy drug-taking and violent bust-ups to the fore. For Large Mound, though, it's all about the guitar.

This revolving collective of devotees to AC/DC-style classic rock began with Anthony Mackey making 4-track recordings in the late 1990s. Five years and one debut album, 'Raised on Rock', later, and Large Mound have changed their lineup seven times.

However, the thrust remains the same. The image on the album cover gives a clue to the Mound's emphasis - they wear their classic rock influences like the badges on the sleeves of the 1980s young rockers pictured. Guitar jams and show-off riffs abound, and in places you almost get the impression that the boys are competing with each other to see who can pull off the most impressive solo. Indeed, Large Mound took the delightful step of individually crediting each lead solo among the lyrics so listeners can do just that.

In its more frenetic moments, the record nods to punk, with angsty lyrics like "it sucks to have responsibility" and "what the f*** happened to our parents' generation" backing up the rapid riffs.

But the boys never lose their heads, and while they rock out they're anything but mindless. Some of the songs even strum in lyrically and tunefully, sounding more like post-Parklife Blur than the Mound's metal heroes. In other places, the sound detours into a prog rock landscape more akin to Led Zeppelin. But then, perhaps Large Mound are trying to give guitar lovers fourteen lessons in the school of classic rock with 'Go Forth and Amplify'. On this evidence, they sure sound like they know what they're teaching.

Bill Lehane

Tracklisting: Metal's Back - Thairockin' - We'd Love To Stay, We'd Play For Free - Our Parents' Generation - My Feet - Bad To Worse - I Have To Work - Wad Of Cash - What? - 50 Miles - I'm Being Sued By The Fire Brigade - Balance - Cursed With The Knowledge - Opt Out