Picks and Pans Review: Tubthumper

updated 12/15/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/15/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

Chumbawamba

Masquerading as a collection of good-time drinking and dance-party songs, this album by a self-described anarchist rock group from Leeds, England, is intended as a subversive assault on yuppie indifference to underclass suffering. Hate to break it to them, but the disguise works too well. This party album is a tub of fun, brimming with dance-ready rhythms, riotous punk anthems and pub laugh-alongs. "Tubthumping," the opening track, which spins like a lager drinker's head from rollicking to morose, is an international hit that has gone to No. 1 in three countries. Which means that the eight-member group, after laboring 15 years in Utopian obscurity, now faces what must be, for them, a nagging problem: success. (Republic/Universal)

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