Pablo Honey

Not Rated

Flashing a song called "Creep" as a musical ID takes cheek, but then, everything about these Brits is unabashed. On their debut, the swagger affected by every arch-Anglo since the Kinks is already in full effect. Three guitars (and bass) and a singer whose narcissistic angst rivals Morrissey's ("I will not control myself!" Thom Yorke screams on "Vegetable," and on "Prove Yourself" he mourns, "I'm better off dead"), these five Oxford lads come on extreme. What elevates them to fab charm is not only the feedback and strumming fury of their guitarwork — and the dynamism of their whisper-to-a-scream song structures — which recall the Who by way of the early Jam, but the way their solid melodies and sing-along choruses resonate pop appeal.

On "Blow Out" they savage a bossa-nova intro with sheer noise; "Thinking About You" is bitter folk with acoustic guitars soundly pummeled; and the rest of "Pablo Honey" is equally surprising. If they don't implode from attitude overload, Radiohead warrant watching.