Manchester's Nine Black Alps fit all the criteria for an up and coming rock outfit - they got signed within months of forming, are being touted for big things by everyone who's anyone and have a limited edition debut single floating around on the internet. But the question still begs: Are they any good?
Named after a line in a Sylvia Plath poem, you'd expect them to be producing melancholic arrangements similar to fellow Mancunians Elbow or Doves. On the contrary - Their sound is an incendiary mix of wall-to-wall guitars, throbbing bass lines, frantic drums and aggressive vocals. It owes more to a certain seminal grunge outfit from Seattle than The Stone Roses or Oasis.
Shot Down, their first full release, is three minutes of stripped down, no frills rock that is one of those rare songs with the ability to make you stop what you're doing and look at the CD player in disbelief. The vitriol in front man Sam Forrest's voice is not a million miles away from that of Kurt Cobain's, and may well ensure their appointment as new leaders of the disillusioned youth. They'll go far.