They don't need to make a racket to have an impact. It's a lesson learned too late.

Touting heavy riffs for the more sophisticated extreme sportster, [a]China Drum[/a] have shortened their name and upped the ante on twisted Placebo-isms. There’s still room for hurtling axe assaults and SHOUTING, but ‘Diskin’ also sees them embrace a Molko-shaped tune here and there too.

‘Horns Front’, for example, could be construed, by the cynical among us, as a ‘complete bloody rip-off’ of the squeaky Yank sleaze-goblin’s sound, but we forgive such flagrant sonic thievery because it remains a soaringly good tune. And also because it’s surrounded by a fair amount of complete shit too. There’s a computer-generated tightness to the rhythm on these tracks, which suggests a decent, future-facing attitude, but overlaid is the same old heaving guitar drone and alternately slacker mumbled/psycho screeching vocals. ‘Hold This Thought While I Lose My Head’ lurches and grumbles, the musical equivalent of a scabby knee, while ‘Dogpile’ is ‘Bleach’-era Nirvana by way of your younger brother’s ‘scary’ sixth-form noise combo.

Among the dross are genuinely abrasive moments, like the sparse ‘Biff Malibu’ and the slow-burning guitar haze of ‘The Beast’, but crucially they’re the songs where The Drum turn the amps down low and slow the pace to a shuffle. They don’t need to make a racket to have an impact. It’s a lesson learned too late.