An enjoyable, yet fairly random collection of Brit pop

Thee Unstrung return with a brand new limited edition E.P 'Who Runs The Show & Gems From The Cutting Room Floor' and trust me, it certainly is an interesting and varied release to say the least.

The opener, 'Who Runs The Show' is a Clash-esque example of snotty punk, taken from the band's forthcoming album, 'Lie, Cheat & Steal'. With sneering vocals, a catchy, simplistic melody and plenty of punchy aggression, the track provides a quite irresistible example of (in their own words) "decidedly British pop and roll".

However, the remaining tracks are a 'live and impulsive collection', recorded during a two-day session at Brighton's Metway studios, and take a very distinct change of direction from the punky opener. After a slightly ropey intro, 'My Friends' settles into a more polished, conventional British rock sound, with some nice guitar work and a catchy rock melody, before 'Fuck Your Money' opens with intricate acoustic guitar, accompanied by harmonized 'woah-oh' backing vocals and returns to the punk sentiments of 'Who Runs The Show'.

'Falling Out Of My Tree' and 'Lie, Cheat & Steal' have a different sound again; they're still stripped-down and acoustic, but there's a distinctly Brit rock feel to the tracks and more than a touch of Liam Gallagher in the lead singer's whining vocals. 'Do Dum De Dum Do', once again takes a lurch in another direction. Lyrics like 'Do Dum De Dum Do/I love you' seem particularly odd after a song like 'Fuck Your Money' and taking the form of a fairly cute pop song it sounds like a track that wouldn't be out of place in McFly's set list. Finally the E.P is drawn to a close by the equally out of place, 'A Masters In Drug Taking', which begins with a slightly creepy, waltz like rhythm and quirky melody reminiscent of Cockney Rebel's 'Mr Soft', before building into a surprisingly grand climactic chorus.

While nearly all of the tracks here are good in their own way, I'd call this rather more of a random collection of songs than an 'impulsive' one, and it will certainly be interesting to see if the album (expected early 2006) is any more cohesive. However, there is certainly some amusing and catchy song writing here that will definitely appeal to Brit pop fans.