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[B]Robin Guthrie[/B]'s new side-project sound like the [a]Cocteau Twins[/a]...

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Sometimes you've got to indulge yourself. [a]Graham Coxon[/a]'s just about to release another solo album which gives full rein to his hitherto unknown metal tendencies. [a]Richard Ashcroft[/a]'s extricated himself from the classic rock role he played in The Verve to become the new Andy Williams. There's a beast inside us all, it seems, just desperate to get out.

So what of Robin Guthrie, guitarist and mastermind behind the Cocteau Twins, who is debuting his new outfit tonight? A radical drum'n'bass departure perhaps? Er, no, actually. Robin Guthrie's new side-project sound like the Cocteau Twins, only with Siobhan De Mari from Mono on vocals.

This is not unpleasant, it must be said. Siobhan, as we know from the ad-conquering 'Life In Mono', has a sultry, coquettish voice, perfectly suited to Guthrie's echoing, guitar-as-psychedelic-harpsichord textures. And a track like 'Liar', all gliding minor-chord shivers and tremulous bass, conspires to create just the right sort of vaguely oppressive dreamscape atmosphere that Guthrie's so good at.

But it can't dissipate the overwhelming air of pointlessness. Now that Liz Fraser is warbling over Peter Gabriel's turgid sonic melodramas, it's obvious that Guthrie found himself at something of a loose end. And really, as Violet Indiana proves, he just wants to be in the Cocteau Twins. Someone should remind him that he is.

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