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But if there is a beef to pick with [a]Brassy[/a], it's this: for now, theirs is a bag of nuggets, rather than a well-tooled strand of gold....

Brassy aren't pulling any punches tonight. "I gotta beef witchoo!" howls Muffin Spencer, the PE assistant you were always a little scared of, even though you desperately longed to be picked for her side. We're not dancing hard enough, it appears. Sorry Miss! How about some detention? Being on Brassy's team looks like the best thing in the world right now. They're one of the coolest small bands in Britain, a taut skein of Muffin's Noo Yawk moves, punky outlook and tuff beats, the province of their sensational drummer, who scratches vinyl with his spare hand. In Muffin, they have a sinewy, sculpted star. What's more, Brassy's forthcoming LP will be the record that Elastica were too washed-up to make. Tonight, their trademark rallying cries - like ace new single 'Work it Out' or 'BRASSY' - are buffed to a high sheen, all deft blasts of new wave guitar and fresh grooves. But if there is a beef to pick with Brassy, it's this: for now, theirs is a bag of nuggets, rather than a well-tooled strand of gold. They often lack the melodies to string together the shards of genius at their disposal. Songs like 'That's The Way' are just one-liners, told in bursts of guitar that never resolve into a tune. And tonight, Muffin's hectoring sounds less like an invitation, and more like bad temper. She wants us in her gang. But she's gonna have to earn it first.

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