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Chumbawamba - WYSIWYG (EMI)

May (EM)I present to you the post-famous one-hit-wonders, Chumbawamba, with their collection of 22 potential chart flops. And ain't that the way we like it? I am an unrepentant Chumbas fan and "WISIWYG" has confirmed the wisdom of sticking with the always "proud to be unpopular" anarcho-pop stars. This CD is truly the successor to the classic "Anarchy". This time around, their sarcastic, fun-poking finger is aimed securely at modern culture and nobody escapes unscathed.

They get boy bands ('I'm with stupid'), isolationism ('Pass it along' and 'Celebration, Florida'), media obsession with sex ('I'm coming out'), Rupert Murdoch ('WWW dot'), the PMRC ('Ladies for compassionate lynching' - a bit of a nod to the Illuminatus, no?), Charleton Heston ('Moses with a gun'), fashion designers ('Knickers') and many more. There's even, shock horror, some blatant radicalism in there, including one of the best lines ever uttered in a Chumbas song - "If you can bake a cake, you can make a bomb" ('Shake baby shake'). There's also the obligatory song about the Reclaim the Streets/anti-WTO protests, 'I'm not sorry, I was having fun', well they were there! And, of course, this is the band that sometimes plunders - there's much incidence of corporate slogans being snatched, see if you can spot them all! My favourite has to be the Microsoft's "Where do you want to go today" in 'Pass it along'.

Wrap all this up in their most musically accomplished collection of pure pop songs of all different sorts and a Bee Gees cover (the very un-disco 'New York Mining Disaster 1941'), add in the usual collection of explanatory notes and rants, an inlay card that folds out into a poster of two dogs shagging and a photo of a big bare arse and you've got a true Chumbawamba classic - soon to be found in a bargain bin near you, probably.

by Donnacha DeLong

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