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CUD Elvis Belt

'ELVIS BELT' is a round-up of Cud's singles, B-sides and bits and pieces from 1987 to the present.

The energy level is high throughout, but the songwriting is often one-dimensional, and subtlety is not Cud's trump card

'Slack Time', salvaged from the wreckage of Red Rhino, is a brisk opener - urgent, melodic and relentless - but 'Treat Me Bad' and 'Under My Hat' show the band getting stuck in a rut of lumpen rhythms. and the rough and ready sound soon loses its lustre

There are a couple of interesting cover versions. 'Lola', the Kinks classic, is treated with a healthy lack of reverence This is fine, except that the original's poignancy is swept away in the process. Bonzo Dog's 'I'm The Urban Spaceman' is whipped along by furious drumming and left for dead after less than two minutes

The highlight is Cud's best known song, 'Hey!Wire (The Stratospheric Mix)', with its agitated groove and swooning melody.

3/5

Mike Barnes