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Alpinestars - White Noise (Riverman Records)

This band is named after mountain bike? Yeah you're not going to be expecting much after hearing that now are you. Still though, for multi-dimensional, filter-disco dance music it's not too bad. At times they may come across as a second-rate Chemical Brothers, or a very poor man's Daft Punk, but beneath it all, there are a handful of catchy tracks. Nothing to set the dancefloors of your local super pub ablaze, though, I'm afraid.

'White Noise' is never going to win any awards, but it does get points for 'Hotel parallel' and the more relaxed, but never contrived, 'Brotherhood'. The funky bass and Daft Punk-lite keyboard of 'Vital love disciple' hold promise, when out of nowhere a New Order-type male vocal intrudes and ruins the song. It would have been much better if they had just left it with the breathy female vocal that sways in and out. Stand out track is 'Carbon kid'. If it reminds you of a Placebo remix, then don't be all that surprised, especially since it features the whiny vocal talents of said band's frontman, Brian Molko.

Apparently dealing with the topic of cloning, the band obviously thought the best way to get this feeling across would be to repeat the same riff and lyric over and over. It works though, strangely enough. 'New ice age' is another nice little song, which sounds like nothing else on the album. Fuzzy, quiet and enchanting it begs you to listen to it over and over again. A surprisingly strong conclusion then to an otherwise patchy album.

Ken McGrath

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