the mad rush of britpop bands during the second half of the 90s was in essence, a battle of publicity. super snobby mags like nme, select, q, and vox heralded every other band as 'the next big thing.' many bands succeeded while many other failed, and it wasn't always a case of talent. take, for example, warm jets and their superb debut (and as far as i know, only) album.
warms jets weren't trying to be overly clever, dark, cinematic, eclectic or unique. sure, they owe a minor debt to catherine wheel, but they just wrote some really great pop songs. take, for example, the first three tracks from 'future signs.' 'moving,' 'never never' (my personal favorite), and 'hurricane.' each song is well-crafted, succint, well-produced, and unbelievably hooky. a lot of music from the britpop era was bloated and heavy (think blur's 'the great escape', for one). 'future signs,' however, relied on a less-is-more mantra. there's very little filler on the album. the songs are straightforward and undemanding (in this case, it's a very good thing). louis jones vocas are great (and yeah, he's sort of like rob dickensen with the the rasp). the musicianship is solid and accomplished. but i think more than anything, there's a real sense of joy and fun on the album (a lot like you hear on franz ferdinand records). in buying this album (as i suggest you do), you could certainly do a whole heck of a lot worse, but not a whole lot better.
just on a personal note: 'never never' is one of the great britpop singles that never happened. i absolutely love this song. it's an all-time favorite. it's got one of the best chorus' i've ever heard.