Space Monkeys, The Daddy of them all (Factory) CD

"Don't let them say you're not Picasso" is printed on the liner notes. It's probably safe to assume that this is not aimed at label boss Tony Wilson though, as, while describing the band, he's been guilty of hyperbole only exceeded by Alan McGee's ridiculous claims on behalf of the supremely average Three Colours Red. This doesn't mean that the Space Monkeys have nothing going for them---far from it, just that they haven't quite reached the dizzy heights of the penthouse at Cubist Towers which Wilson appears to think they own.

Musically they go for a sharper version of the baggy Madchester scene, appropriating snippets of the Mondays, New FADS, Stone Roses et al and pulling them together with a dash of hip hop and the benefit of hindsight (i.e Northside). And for the most part it works, although I can't help thinking that the next record, when they step a bit further away from the past, will be more like the music they really want to make. For now though, they've got a good album and all the brashness of the bands they grew up with: "We're not arrogant, we're confident. We don't care if you're with us or against us, we just hope you enjoy the trip."

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