London Camden Palace

Confronted with a name as spandex-wearingly awful as [B]Little Mothers[/B], anything is going to be a bonus...

Confronted with a name as spandex-wearingly awful as Little Mothers, anything is going to be a bonus. So hearing gravelly Delta-vocals straight from the mouths of pigeon-chested white boys is something of a surprise. If, however, you're expecting the new Beta Band, just forget it.

It's easy to see where the mistake arises though, because at times Little Mothers are very good. Like when 'Twisted Sister' growls itself into snaking beat eclecticism, or the acoustic pleasures of 'The Worry' get swamped in HAL computer-style keyboards. Top marks too for writing a song called 'Can't Leave Myself Alone' about that most solitary of pursuits, masturbation, and turning it into a sing-along.

Unfortunately, Little Mothers never take it far enough. They might have musty old folk/blues pastoralism and rhythms fallen from the back of Beck's lorry, but they never assemble them into anything to make your jaw drop, or suspend your natural suspicion of bongo workouts. Nothing, in fact, to suggest The Beta Band need worry even remotely.

A shame then, but with only brief flashes of inspiration on show, Little Mothers turn out to be almost as prosaic as their name suggests.

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