Picks and Pans Review: Hup

updated 11/20/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/20/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Wonder Stuff

Less than a year ago the Wonder Stuff served up an excellent first album, The Eight Legged Groove Machine, and they are back again with another hot platter. Retaining the self-assured style that sent that earlier release to the top of the college charts, the Wonders play fast, short pop songs that pit musical crosscurrents against each other. Relatively calm, tuneful vocals balance a hectic beat and aggressive electric guitars.

Frontman Miles Hunt often sings with a sly, wiseacre tone reminiscent of the Clash. "Radio Ass Kiss" is a kind of intentional tease; its light, bright melody would make perfect fodder for pop radio, while I the snide anti-industry lyrics insult the people who could give the song airplay. Some of this British quartet's new stuff has a bland, underdone flavor. Even so, this second sharp Wonder Stuff production within 12 months puts to shame other bands that only manage to release one good album every three or four years. (Polydor)

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