Crunt (Trance Syndicate/LP/CD)
There are few editorial regulations for the average hack to bother taking note of. Indeed, given such freedom in front of a typewriter, certain less socially confident writers will actually invent their own reviewing rules to keep their brain cells in order. Today's New Rule is thus: collapse and weep at the altar of any album that dares to incorporate a track called, very simply, 'Spam'.

Such is life. We need our constants, and processed meats - whether eaten or simply placed upon TV sets - unerringly fit the bill. The fact that 'Spam' appears to be an integral part of a rather aggressive porcine concept running through 'Crunt' is simply the icing on the... erm, liver sausage.

See, Crunt are a 'supergroup' forged by Kat from Babes In Toyland, hubby Stuart Gray from Lubricated Goat and drummer Russel Simins of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. And if the term 'supergroup' makes all discerning punters weep over their once-played, immediately-discarded hobbyhorse releases, then fair play to this particular threesome for resisting odious indulgences and maintaining a short, sharp SHOUTY grip on proceedings.

More intriguingly, if the lyrics are even slightly autobiographical, then Kat 'n' Stuart are set to make Kurt 'n' Courtney look like Dollar. At Butlins.

'We f---! We Sweat!' howls Grey during the shaggy delights of 'Sexy'. 'You baby! You f---!' he hollers in the scratchy 'Black Heart', while other rants involving 'Snap Out Of It', 'Changing My Mind' and, naturally, 'Punishment' pound past in a flurry of pigs, garagey guitars, pigs, sonic vibrations and yet more pigs. You want another love-battered soundtrack for True Romance? Sneak past the sleeve, splattered as it is with trashed automobiles, and settle down for a less-than-calm journey.

True, Babes watchers will probably be disappointed by the fact that Kat lets rip vocally only once on 'Unglued' (cue cheery lines a la 'I'm comin' to meet ya/I'm comin' to BEAT YA!!!'), but that's taking little away from Crunt's ability to whip up a messy, cathartic storm and chuck out a few classic AC/DC-style "Yeah, yeah, YEAAAAHHHS!" along the way.

And if the dark underbelly of Valentine's Day is a million miles away from the perceived 'seduction' of bloody roses and bloody heart-shaped cards, the sweetly named Crunt should be flying through lovers' letterboxes come February 14. As they put it themselves: "Electric spam, spam, spam/Damn spam man".

Meat to the beat... (?)

Simon Williams