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[B]'Every Morning'[/B], and its Identikit predecessor [B]'Fly'[/B] are improvements on their usual blandness but, by comparison, they make [B]The Offspring[/B] seem like the cutting edge of the cou

The place is echoing to the sound of screaming. This in itself is not strange. What is mildly perplexing is the thought that Sugar Ray have spent the last ten years grubbing around the fringes of California's Orange County punk scene, yet are about to colonise the charts with the innocuous Hispanic-flavoured alterna-pop of 'Every Morning'. They haven't just sold out, they've offered The Man first refusal on their children's souls.



Not that you'd know they ever had anything to do with punk from tonight's performance. An awful sense of cabaret has descended on London and its cheerleader is all-round berk, singer Mark McGrath. He dances the funky chicken, drags witless imbeciles onstage to rap, and namechecks Arsenal just to prove what a fantastic understanding he has of British culture.



The band, meanwhile, offer a smorgasbord of punk, rap and metal so chaste that they coat these potentially incendiary genres in the fetid stench of AOR.



True, the aforementioned 'Every Morning', and its Identikit predecessor 'Fly' are improvements on their usual blandness but, by comparison, they make The Offspring seem like the cutting edge of the counterculture.



As bastard luck would have it, they're going to be massive. Now that's something worth screaming about.

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