God Bless Miss Black America by Miss Black America

At my great age, I thought that was I past being excited by pop music. I thought I was too old, tired, cynical, jaded and world weary to be so excited by a record as to have to take it with me everywhere I go (my class will be listening to it every play time!) and to want instantly to tell all my friends how fantastic it is and how they too must leap uncontrollably around the room to it.

I didn't know I could feel like this any more.

Cos this is the album to rekindle your belief in rock'n'roll. At last, again, a band that unites intelligence, attitude, cheekbones, commitment and a willingness to put their money where their mouth is with great, great songs. The fact that all this was done on a shoestring budget makes it even more remarkable.

Instant favourites are obviously the singles: one time R*E*P*E*A*T releases "Human Punk" and "Miss Black America" finally get the treatment they deserve, fusing mad punk thrills with imaginative but not suffocating musicianship and thoughtful, honest lyrics. Single before last "Talk Hard" must be one of the most heart felt, articulate insights into the way that the education establishment succeed in stopping our brains from thinking and in quashing real learning.

However there's also a lot to discover in the new tracks. In "Don't Speak My Mind" and "Car Crash For The Soul" Seymour's voice and words conveys a vast range of emotions with honesty and passion, making this album a stunningly wide ranging and satisfying debut. Of course there are bits I don't like (the guitars are sometimes too U2 in their noodlings and I dislike the Chilli-esque funk of "Infinite Chinese Box") but this is as near perfect first album as you'll find this side of "Generation Terrorists" and "Never Mind the Bollocks".

So 10 out of ten and fuck the marking system.

And God Bless Miss Black America.