This record isn't for everyone (see ktvowles' review, although I'm baffled as to how he/she can rate 'Napoleon Loves Josephine' so highly and simply dismiss the rest of the album as "noise, just awful noise"), but if you like your rock fast, tight, jerky, quirky, punky, funky, lyrically intriguing and in yer face then it could be for you. Try to imagine the best bits of (in no particular order) Man Or Astroman, Gang Of Four, Devo, early XTC, Franz Ferdinand, The Diagram Brothers (who? exactly!), Big Black, and Christ-knows-who-else, poured into a blender and whisked into something wonderfully exciting and not quite like any of them.
The arrangements smack of hours in the rehearsal room honing these incredibly precise, detailed songs, with someone occasionally saying stuff like, "You know what? After that second chorus we should have four bars of this riff in seven-eight time, followed by a one-bar break before the middle eight; that would sound brilliant!". And it does.
I've just got back from seeing them at The Windmill in Brixton, and the live versions of the songs are jaw-droppingly good. (It was the first night of a short tour, and they apologised for being "rusty"; if that was them rusty, I can't imagine what they'd be like on top form.) I can't remember the last time I saw drums, bass, two guitars and some voices make such a thrilling noise, and I'm still grinning from ear to ear.
You know you're in trouble when you want to use a band as a stick with which to beat other bands who you feel are less deserving of success, but sometimes that's just the way it is. If there were any justice they'd be huge, but there isn't, so they're not. Something tells me they don't mind.