Fun Lovin Criminals - Loco

It seems hard to believe that the FLC have only been around for a few short years. They're a band stained in your conscious like Blur, the Levellers and James. They're just one of those bands that seem to have been around forever and show no signs of splitting up. Huey is a man among men, with his notorious flings with supermodels and his recent scuffle with Damon Albarn - as I've said before in print, he really is the closest we have to a real life James Bond.

With the exception of the singles I've always gone along the "all style, no substance" line of thinking. It happens with all the great artists from Marilyn Manson to Blur to Kylie - they've all been accused of faking it at one point. Huey, a true smooth operator if ever there was one, would probably declare every single thing he's touched a work of genius. To say "Loco" is a return to form is something of an lie - with this album they've surpassed the previous two albums with a kind of effortless ease.

Opening with "Where the Bums Go" seems a little foolish. A punk rock workout set to be a live highlight for its chorus alone seems a little weak when compared to the rest of the album, but then it would when recent single and title track "Loco" follows it. You all know it from the Miller adverts and for once we have an alternative anthem to be proud of - we all see what advertising can do to music. Hello Moby, Babylon Zoo, etc.!!! In case you had any doubts as to their musical integrity and advertising money they explain its all on "The Biz" with its line "Music Industry - that's what we are. No one plays for free.....we can lie to each other, mutha fucker".

"Swashbucklin' In Brooklyn" is one of those trademark FLC tracks with the funkiest guitar line in history. It encapsulates everything the band are about and the pure genius of rhyming "my man was working at the seafood spot" and "selling fish and chips and dealing bags of pot" - its that mixture of the mundane and the criminal that makes it so appealing.

The remainder of the album is what you'd expect from the guys, although its executed in a way we haven't seen before. The ballads ("Underground", "She's My Friend") are classics and then we can't forget the U2 steal on "There Was A Time", a crafty little riff straight out of "One Love". Fucking Genius, the whole album, Fucking Genius!!!!

Alex McCann