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CUD - Elvis Belt (Imaginary LP/ Cassette/CD)

New Musical Express, June 1990

And they're off! Cud waste no time in opening this collection of lost singles. remixes and covers, erupting instantly into the high velocity in-your-face growl of "Slack Time". A prime example of their working method, manically operatic vocals slammed onto urgent, thunderous percussion and scouring guitars.

"Make No Bones" is the same slap-on formula but with cheeky fairground melodies cowering behind Carl's wall-of-death wail, while "Treat Me Bad" surfs in on polluted waves of Mary Chain feedback, building from a sluggish grind to paranoid ranting. Pretty damn repetitive too.

But "Punishment-Reward Relationship" slows the pace to a dirty, snaking trawl through the guitar gutter with a vocal mantra reminiscent of "I Am The Walrus", and "Under My Hat" skids along on more scolding, scowling strumming.

Their cover of Kinks classic "Lola"' incorporates corrosive blasts of guitar and Carl's trademark Tarzan yodel without ever becoming disrespectful, even if the hilarious splatterattack reading of "Urban Spaceman" kicks seven shades of shit out of the oompah-style Bonzo Dog original. A little lyrical subtlety is lost in translation, I fear.

Current indie hit "Hey!Wire" is pounding and powerful, a fine soaring melody over danceable drums, and the reworked "I've Had It With Blondes" builds steamhammer rifts into a handsome, muscular groove. A far more confident animal than last year's rather off-beam debut, and one which promises greatness. (8)

Stephen Dalton