Liberty 37 The Greatest Gift

Much has been made out of the Welsh music scene, although the main thing that the bands seem to have in common is simply geography. And just like anywhere else, there are bands whose originality makes them something very special (such as Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and the almighty Super Furry Animals) and then there are bands like Liberty 37. It's not that they are particularly bad or anything, it's just that The Greatest Gift is not a memorable album by any means. Liberty 37 do the faux-metal/grunge thing that was more fashionable a few years back - they verge between anthemic rock that should have the masses pumping their fists in the air and the cliché stadium rock that gives this kind of music a bad name. Yet they don't go far enough to satisfy; the guitars and vocals aren't loud enough to sound completely convincing. It isn't a complete loss, though - there are a couple of songs here that do stand out, most notably the ones that were released as singles in the UK (namely "No Beauty" and "Stuffed"), but as a whole it just isn't worth the time or effort. Definitely not the best that Wales has to offer. (Beggars Banquet)