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Elastica - The Menace (Deceptive)

Five years on, Elastica have finally managed to release a second album. The media coverage surrounding this release has been intense, focussing on the band's virtual disintegration last year, their drug habits and, of course, Justin's break-up with Blur's Damon Albarn. All this aside, though, there is the music, unfortunately.

Elastica's debut was a sassy and enjoyable collection of stolen punk riffs and bitchy vocals. It was faux punk bubblegum and it was fun. This is none of that. The clearest sign of their misguided attempt to actually be taken seriously as a band is the collaboration with the Fall's Mark E Smith, 'How he wrote Elastica man'. Why? It does neither of them much good.

This album is a collection of sub-Riot Grrrl screeching, ill-judged techno elements and almost completely indecipherable vocals. It has none of the appeal of the debut and shows that when they try to go beyond copying punk rock's simplicity, they're not very good musicians. This is a long-awaited return by a band who, it seems, should have stayed away.

by Donnacha DeLong

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