• Kerosene
  • Arrhythmia (Sire/Warner Bros.) 1993 

Another entrant in the British export parade of would-be chart bands like Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and EMF, this Manchester quintet formerly known as Collision erects a sheer roaring-guitar firewall on its first album (produced for post-Nirvana America by Dinosaur Jr pal John Agnello) and uses it to hang up moral-compass lyrics like “Shame,” “Worthless” and “Mercy.” Singer Paul Taylor has a plain, adequate rock voice which doesn’t provide much contrast to the audio backdrop, but songs thoughtfully geared for group singing (especially “Excess” and “Everybody’s Icon,” a Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine-like satire on superstar egos: “If I didn’t exist/Who would they look up to?/I’m bigger, I’m better, I’m stronger, I’m faster than them”) go a long way toward making Arrhythmia better than the average modern pop wildebeest.

[Ira Robbins]