bands sometimes pronounce themselves as "lo-fi" a little defensively. this reticence is very misplaced.

not least because, while even we would probably recognise that "curious role model", the title track of the new beatnik filmstars ep was perhaps not recorded in the sistine chapel with the aid of steve lillywhite, a fairlight and a 58-piece orchestra arranged by ennio morricone, "lo-fi" is not the phrase that comes to mind.

"infectious", yes; "raucous", yes; "fizzing", yes; "breakneck", yes; "clattering", admittedly yes, "the sound of thrilled skinny riding their infamous shopping trolley gleefully off a ravine and landing on top of razorlight", yes; "like 'lie dream and the casino soul' boxing 'new boyfriend and black suit' for a place in the world hummability final", yes; "in-yer-face and should be in-the-charts", yes; "sizzlingly cynical angry pop, raining acid barbs on your parade but only delight into our hearts", yes; "as good as anything they've done in the last 15 yrs or so", yes...

for the filmstars are still the uninvited upstart at popdom's self-congratulatory garden party, lighting little fires under the marquee, melting the ferrero rocher and turning the veuve clicquot warm. and they are clearly needed more than ever, given that the kaiser chiefs (who can't be much younger, surely ?) have just managed to have a number one single with an absolute travesty of a song.

the thing about the beatnik filmstars, aswell (syntax copyright m. lawrenson) is that even throughout their era-defying nineties' sequence of glitteringly grainy albums on merge (even last yr's t&f outing "in great shape" apparently befuddled the pressing plant people, although pressing plant people are legendarily conservative if the furores over old buzzcocks and mary chain b-sides were anything to go by, so perhaps that may not be terribly difficile) they've always had the winning knack for a killer hook, and "curious role model" is just another reminder of that. we especially like the late cameo by the trumpeter.

anyway, the cdep is mail-order only. and, fwiw, it sounds nothing like guided by voices.


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