Maths Class, Elle Milano, Heels Catch Fire

Mark Savage 29/01/2008

Maths Class. Lacking adjectives: Klaxons on more speed, whatever. They might be Math-pop, whatever that is. The suspicion remains that they may lack something on record, and that if they slowed down, the singers would be exposed as squawkers of the worst order. Their myspace offerings are unimpeachable brilliance for the first five seconds, and then they surrender to every cliche of the form. But, but but, this is live, and they don't lower the pace one iota, so the three and four note riffs spin over and over, and punish satisfyingly, all rhythm, with any melody sparking from the sporadic synth intrusions. The two frontboys fret willingly, at their best suggesting a straighter Blood Brothers, a superior fickle kraut-indie, played like flirts.

Heels Catch Fire are a cute foursome with At The Drive-In crushes who carve through a set of muscular, turning rock. They've no obvious fresh ideas, but rehash others with energy and vigour, and are pleasingly well-drilled (which sounds like faint praise, but isn't meant to be), tight as a hairpin, and encourage a peculiar paternal longing. Like the quiet kids at school sports day, you want them to win.

Unlike Elle Milano, whose chic name hides a scruffy musical mix of ragbag allsorts. The Automatic, The Kooks, Mystery Jets, The Cure, The Wonder Stuff, Mudhoney, Terrorvision. Yes, I know. The singer walks a fine line in 'Look At Me Mum' antics that border on the tedious, and helps to spurn an interesting opening on a way too-long (even to your mates) set. His hair, curiously, is exactly like Joey from Friends circa 1995 but blown up to be too big for a human head, and this fact consoles me through the display.

Photo by Chris Pullan.