10

Two well-crafted but forgettable tracks and one gloriously downbeat offering

It is unlikely that the name Naked Lunch will sound familiar to the majority of British listeners as 'Military Of The Heart' is their first UK single release; the Austrian group have been making music together for sixteen years however (albeit with a considerable hiatus during the early part of this decade) and have achieved widespread acclaim in Germany and their home country. They cite John Lennon, Mercury Rev and The Notwist as influences and are said to have abandoned their rock roots in their recent work, leaning further towards a more electronic and experimental approach.

'Military Of The Heart' is a radio-friendly, guitar-driven, rhythmic song about love and finding oneself, although it is glazed with a melancholy that prevents its sentiments becoming sickening. Experimental it is not, but the track's pace is varied and allusions to Mercury Rev or The Cooper Temple Clause would not go amiss; and nor will fans of such a sound be disappointed if they give Naked Lunch a try.

'On Our Last Day' and 'Stay' are both significantly more downbeat than the opening song. The former is heavy with muffled beats and fragile vocals, affecting whilst playing although sadly too easily forgotten once it has finished. 'Stay' is an acoustic track but an electronic influence hangs heavily around it, the highlight of the piece being the stripped down moments between verses dripping with even more emotion than Oliver Welter's lyrics and vocals express. Without a doubt this last song is the strongest present here, and if this is an indication of the quality and style of the band's albums the UK will be very pleased indeed to welcome Naked Lunch.