Stroke First In Last Out

This strikes like a lightening bolt between the ears with the superb sprinkling of electronic bits and Brit styled pop, only to become a mild storm by the end. The five opening songs are well worth the price, but are so cleverly done they make the rest of the album come off a little weak. More gentle in vocals than Prodigy and heavier than the Chemical Brothers in electronics, Stroke are a five piece from London, UK, who have something in common with Catherine Wheel. If the dazzling pop track “I Wish I Had” doesn’t carry you away with its fab lyrics and dynamic sounds then this band isn’t for you. A pure pop tune that saps the energy from the early ‘90s Pop Will Eat Itself or Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, yet they are not retro to that sound. (XL)