The year 1990 was when the world went student-shaped. Pop, correspondingly, was its halls of residence, providing shelter and sonic sustenance for those who thought bowl-cuts and those Inspiral Carpets ‘Cool As Fuck’
T-shirts were the height of sartorial anarchy. Into this scruffy milieu came EMF, a band who briefly captured the zeitgeist with their big shorts and habit of shoving fruit under their foreskins.
Less interesting, however,
was EMF’s music; a cheeky
gumbo that combined samples, crunching guitars, plinky-plonk pianos (the official sound of
1990), drum machines and
bad singing to breathtakingly average effect. They were like
Pop Will Eat Itself, only cleaner, and their biggest hits – ‘Unbelievable’, ‘It’s You’, ‘Children’ – are all tinny artefacts from The Land Before Good Music; clumsy, irritating splashes of cider on indie’s vast dancefloor.
A second CD of boring remixes (courtesy of Apollo 440 and the Dust Brothers, among others)
is included solely for the purpose of making them look cooler than they actually were. Only their cover of The Stooges’ ‘Search
And Destroy’ has stood the test
of time; its pulsing synths and cracking guitar solo hinting at what might have been. Forgive them Lord for, evidently, they knew not what they did.