This is a review of "3-Star" recorded by Instant Species. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2001.
I can't believe how impressed I am with this CD. And not only do I get to listen to some cracking songs - and I mean cracking - I get a whole album of them through the post, a ten-track album I'd pay good money for. No wonder it sold out its first pressing within weeks, and is almost sold out again.
Starting off with an intro along the lines of Ash's "Kung Fu", the opening track is an initial blast of what can only be described indie-punk fun. "Under The Bed Song" has surf guitar qualities, but shows its not constrained to any boundaries, as it a pure alternative radio friendly song from Rick & co.
Vocally, there's a very interesting roughness throughout the CD, almost as if there's a struggle with a sore throat during recording. But it sounds good and really makes the total sound unique.
A couple of more indie-Britpop tracks come and go, including the quirky intro of "Rocket and Laser", and I'm still impressed. "Keep Me Alive" is slightly more up-tempo, building up gradually before kicking off into another interesting and I'll add at this point, very bouncy, sing-along dance-along track.
"Home Alone" is last year's single, before "Madam Damned" is a gloriously ripped off punk song. Fast guitars and "Oi Oi Oi" put together in fine fashion. What makes Instant Species unique is that they continue to sing in such a way, that they make the tracks more like frenetic-indie-pop than pure punk-rock - though the guitars would of course argue otherwise.
And if you've had enough of fast guitars, jump straight to "Her Attention" and slow down even more for the folk-rock ballad that is "Understand". Following is a sleazy blues bar number called "Plastic Box" before "Lets Do It First" closes the CD off with some weird vocal effects.
As you can guess, I really enjoyed listening to this CD. On an individual song-by-song basis there are other better songs out there in Leeds. However, to say that this CD has ten, count 'em TEN, quality tracks on and I cannot fault any is impressive.