London Ladbroke Grove Subterania

Wow, do snow patrol hate Americans ...

WOW, DO SNOW PATROL HATE AMERICANS. HALFWAY through this record, buried under a feedback avalanche at the start of ‘Little Hide’, they’ve included an answerphone message from bassist Mark McClelland to the abode of singer Gary Lightbody and drummer Jonny Quinn, dropping the bombshell that they must change their name from Polar Bear or face death by big writ from the American band of the same name.

Which not only explains the two-fingered title of their debut album but also throws light on why it sounds like every influential American band of the ’90s being chained, in turn, into a spin dryer and having brain-eating robot bugs drilled into their heads by a grinning Thom Yorke. Easy targets first: The Breeders are mashed to a gibbering, glistening pulp on ‘Starfighter Pilot’, ‘The Last Shot Ringing In My Ears’ takes the Black & Decker to Lou Barlow’s torpid whining and ‘Absolute Gravity’ garottes every wide-trousered rock-rap tosser it can find with a ball of trip-hop razor wire. Seven Gadaffi-friendly tunes in, however, they come over all [I]faux [/I]flattered, as if realising that any more Yank baiting and they’d be questioned by the CIA about the embassy bombings. ‘NYC’ is a humble homage to Screaming Trees and ‘Days Without Paracetamol’ is so Pixies it gains seven stone halfway through.

A-ha! But it’s all a trick! For as they’re about to be handed the keys to Buttfuck, they set about REM with jack hammers on closer ‘One Hundred Things You Should Have Done In Bed’. Revenge is sweet when scuzzy around the edges.