This is the sound of the youth club rotting....

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This is the sound of the youth club rotting. There’s the clank of clashing braces, the rattle of rusted Slinkys. And in the corner, the Space Invaders machine sparks, fizzles and fails. [a]Space Raiders[/a] are supposed to be dealing in electronica of some crazed new breed – retro techno, if you will – but their music simply sounds like a filthy youth, faintly remembered.

Cheap, chunky and stale in a tasty kind of way, it’s no accident that promotional copies of the debut album from Middlesbrough DIY dance terrorists [a]Space Raiders[/a] arrived in boxes of the budget corn snack of the same name (incidentally, if there’s a band called Four Tons Of Wine Gums out there, you know the address). Nor is it any surprise, bearing in mind that Mark Hornby was once in a Velvet Underground covers band called Can’t Be Arsed and fellow Raider Gary Bradford was once bandmates with a ball of cheese, that ‘Don’t Be Daft’ is a warped beast.

Born of mushrooms and memories, for the most part it’s Stardust on solvents. ‘King Boz’, ‘Dance’ and ‘Glam Raid’ all sound like Stevie Wonder squashed flat under a glittery grit landslide, but these are just the launch pad for a far weirder trip through blitzed ’70s kitsch. Flashbacks to the [I]Brady Bunch [/I]theme weave out of the electronic ether of ‘Glam Raid’, ‘Crazy Banana Trip’ gets all deep house on our arse (in an, um, crazy banana fashion, obviously), and ‘Monster Munch’ crunches out with a blast of greasy glam guitars and Mud samples, the ghost in the machine suddenly donning a bloody great Marc Bolan wig and cultivating a bad Brummie accent. Hey, bang a bong, alroight…

If the robots from the Smash commercials ever made dance music, it would sound like this. For while Propellerheads and The All Seeing I are trawling the promenade at Eastbourne for clapped-out collaborators to provide their kooky kitsch kool, Space Raiders are dishing out dispatches from a far more sordid ’70s. And, as the cast of [I]Days Like These [/I]might comment, it’ll never get better than this…