...a 19-track procession of pretend disco and A-level [a]Aqua[/a] novelty wank...

And it all seemed like a rather good idea for, oh, about 30 seconds... Sandwiched between reggae imports and Japanese thrash, the yodelling rodent idiocy of the Cuban Boys' 'Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia' brought a strange clarity to John Peel's traditional output. However, their debut album, a 19-track procession of pretend disco and A-level Aqua novelty wank, brings only the sensation of having your eardrums skewered by pixies.

'Oh My God! They Killed Kenny' is happy hardcore as heard by a) very old people, or b) people on drugs which cause you to sprout antlers. 'The Heel' is appalling lo-fi line dance music with rock-chick vocals. These, staggeringly, are the most memorable moments.

For a band habitually described as 'irritatingly catchy' (hack shorthand for 'I really like this but I'm too cool to admit it'), Cuban Boys desperately lack hooklines, memorable choruses, gut-busting samples or... anything, beyond student-bar smirks and a rudimentary ability to program a drum machine. When you find respite in a Hixxy & Sharkey-style cover of The Offspring's 'Self Esteem', truly, you clutch at straws.

What nails the Boys as bargain-bin dead certs isn't their dedication to annoyance; it's that there isn't anyone around to annoy.

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