3 Colours Red
Reading.  Club Tropicana

It's a phlegm awakening, a sudden vision in gob.  As the umpteenth glistening greenie slides down Pete Vuckovic's spanking new first-day-at-big-school blazer he tuts, wagging his finger at the punk in the front row already hawking up another malaria missile.  "That was nineteen seventy fucking seven," he scolods, "this is nineteen ninety fucking eight,2

The statement boomerangs from his mouth, spins twice around his head and smacks him square between the eyes.  DUH!  1998!  Of course!  Why didn't he realise before?!?  Nurse!  The string section suppository!  Quickly!  Before Martron McGee finds out!

At this very moment 3 Colours Red hit punk puberty.  They start stomping about while wearing Velvet Goldmine's glitter buget.  They seriously consider scratching 'MARILYN MANSON' into their arms with a compass.  They cease to be the lava-spewing speedfreak anti-Gomez of old and start playing shouty glam-metal stonkers like new single 'Paralyse' or 'Paranoid Peoaple'.  And 'Beautiful Day', which could soundtrack the version of Titanic 2 in which they raise the sunken ship and launch it off to Neptune with an undead Royal Philharmonic for a crew.

Maturity of sorts, yes, but not without its needs to 3CR's brutal youth.  They still storm through grit-gargling pop tunes like 'This Is My Hollywood' and 'Sixty Mile Smile', still make 'Copper Girl' sound like they nicked it wholesale from a Miami Vice bar band in 1986.  They still spit their music at us alright, but these days they hawk it with a certain grace.

As for the Phantom Phlegm Flinger down the front, as 'Nerve Gas' splashes down in a nailgun strike of primal poonk splinters, the two guitarists spring into action, as Chris McCormack splits a stream of water into his face and Ben Harding sends a hefty boot up his, ahem, 'booty'.  Yes, for the first time in recorded history a kick-ass rock band actully bothers to kick some real life-ass.  The moral: gob by all means, but for Christ's sake, show us magic while you're at it.

Mark Beaumont (NME)