An anaemic, personality-free parade of thrashers, power ballads and, hey hey, thrashy power ballads so dull they border on the unconscious...

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London W1 Embassy Rooms

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London W1 Embassy Rooms

They’re all here tonight – buffalo-haired metalheads, floor-staring [a]Marilyn Manson[/a] fans, sovereign-ringed punk veterans in faded Sham 69 T-shirts…

They’ve all come to rock, no question – but to what? A pansexual cross between hardcore, oi! and grunge? No such luck. Instead, this oddly eclectic crowd are here for [a]Lit[/a], who are – oh joy – a new Californian punk-pop band. Doubtless you’ve already come across their new shortly-to-be-huge single, ‘My Own Worst Enemy’.

Following in a tradition started by The Offspring and Rancid, [a]Lit[/a] are the latest American dorks to offer the sound of rock rebellion finessed to robotic, corporate perfection: spiked hair that looks like it’s been cut with lasers, shiny quiffs that emerge salon-perfect from the moshpit. Jesus, even their tattoos look airbrushed. Best of the bunch is frontman, A Jay Popoff, a Brylcreemed goon swaddled in a tight white vest – his arms a busy mass of licking flames and burning playing cards.

This is no camp parody, though – the Beavis & Butt-head massive don’t exactly go a bundle on that sort of thing. But God knows why they’d go for this either: an anaemic, personality-free parade of thrashers, power ballads and, hey hey, thrashy power ballads so dull they border on the unconscious.

Still, when did that ever stop anyone going multi-platinum?