Faction Records – 2005 – 32 minutes

The young Irish band compilation is something to send a shiver down the spine of any reviewer. So many of these albums have proved so embarrassingly drab, that you face the problem of whether to issue a deserved savaging or pull your punches because "ah, at least the lads are trying".

In the case of 'Faction One' it takes precisely two seconds for this dilemma to vanish into thin air.

The opener, 'In Search of Orgasmuz' by Derry's Red Organ Serpent Sound, gives the immortal 1960s garage sound a punchy update. A giddying combination of The Hives, The Stranglers and The Caesars (of 'Turn It Out Up' fame), this track is propelled forward by the glorious, pudgy sound of the Hammond organ, in cahoots with a fuzzed-up guitar and some frankly ridiculous lyrics.

This is one of the best Irish songs of recent years, and has enough energy, power and all-round meanness to send our recent plague of singer-songwriters scurrying back to the sewers where they belong.

Elsewhere, Republic of Loose compound their growing reputation with the excellent 'Comeback Girl'.

Inevitably there are a lot of duds, with bands like The Immediate, Director and DC Pakt sounding too like The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand to be credible; which is a shame, given the reasonable quality of their songs. The less said of Future Kings of Spain the better. Suffice to say that sincere rock is one of modern music's more insidious curses.

The packaging is top-notch, and the production values of the tracks also impress. There's enough energy and excitement on 'Faction One' to make it better than the average Irish band comp.

Luke McManus

Tracklisting: Red Organ Serpent Sound: In Search Of Orgasmuz – The Marshal Stars: Tough As Old Boots – The Immediate: Never Seen – Republic of Loose: Comeback Girl – Director: Last Time – Cathy Davey: Cannonballs – Future Kings of Spain: Venetian Blinds – DC Pakt: Departure – The Blizzards: First Girl to Leave Town – Angel of Mons: Madame Zane