The Courteeners St. Jude

Self-proclaimed as the saviours of rock'n'roll, the Courteeners appear to be utilising an all too familiar template as they release their debut album, and not just because they happen to be another band from Manchester with a lead singer named Liam. They did the word-of-mouth thing, creating plenty of buzz before signing to a label and then gave plenty of outspoken interviews to make sure they initiated the inevitable backlash against them by insulting other more popular bands. The problem is that the music on St. Jude isn't nearly as interesting as the band would have you believe. Sounding like a cross between the Libertines and the Arctic Monkeys, the Courteeners aren't doing anything that hasn't been done many times before. And just like many of those "flavour of the month" bands the UK specialises in, they have a handful of catchy songs that make it easy to understand how they found favour in the first place. The real test will be album number two, due later this year, because if they haven't made some progress by then they'll be just another name on the very long list of bands that the NME once liked. (A&M/Universal)