A.R.E. Weapons A.R.E. Weapons

On their eponymous debut album, A.R.E. Weapons peek inside a 13-year-old’s sleepy head and pull out his most horrific nightmares and lascivious wet dreams. Guns, cars, drugs, street cred, sex, theft and violence dominate the New York trio’s apocalyptic vision of modern youth culture. Coke-fuelled diatribes and motivational rhymes are delivered with a flow that constantly threatens to go camp over speaker-busting beats that leave your head bobbing, more from laughter than agreement. "Don’t Be Scared” and "Hey World” sound like pep talks delivered by Richard Simmons. The innocuous, pseudo-thuggery of "Street Gang” comes closer to the theme from Ghostbusters than the N.W.A. output one would expect. "Changes” reeks of Miami booty-bass, by way of Tag Team’s "Whoomp! (There it is).” Even the album’s hidden track, "New York Muscle,” gives the world a glimpse of what a Gravediggaz/Village People duet would sound like. True, irony is a strange premise for a musical act, but by Christ after a couple of tins this disc’s the quickest fix for a good ol’ intoxicated, ultra-violent, blood-pumping laugh. Unfortunately, your sober buddies will be left scratching their (clear) heads. (Rough Trade)