John Robinson reviews the latest music releases

Primal Scream | Natty | Linkin Park | Hot Chip | The Feeling

Pick of the week: Primal Scream, Can't Go Back (B-Unique)

Anyone who witnessed Bobby Gillespie's onstage socio-political meltdown at Glastonbury a couple of years ago will know that this is a man who takes his contradictory vibe with him everywhere. Where it shines, he rains. Where there is war, he is peace. When it is high summer, duly he presents a pounding hard rock single and a video which casts him as a serial killer who preys solely on customers of Agent Provocateur. Go Bobby! Odd as it may be, this reconfirms the Scream's unique place. While you sit in your deckchair, they are doing their mad business at the barricades, and it's hard to be disappointed with that.

Natty, July (Atlantic)

Natty's day job was doing sound for Razorlight, so you imagine this isn't so much a single as it is a plea for early release from mediocre stadium indie. His escape plan would seem to hinge on releasing a concept song - called July, for it is now July - in which he attempts to replicate the mellow sound of summer singles like Lily Allen's LDN, in which, phew, it's hot, people are funny in that London, but we must all muddle along somehow. OK, Natty, it's a deal. Now can you air condition the tube?

Linkin Park, Leave Out All The Rest (Warners)

The biggest of the nu-metal bands who leaped to riches in 2000, Linkin Park have enjoyed some great good fortune. Mysteriously adopted by Jay-Z as a band worth doing business with, the group have also seamlessly jumped the pop-metal ship for the emo-tinged likes of Leave Out All The Rest, a track so smoove, it's almost R&B. Any direction which brings to a close the dubious MC-ing of their earlier efforts must, however, be seen as a good thing.

Hot Chip, Touch Too Much (EMI)

Having been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for their last LP, The Warning - and thereby discovering what it's like to be garlanded with faint praise - the Putney group have lately seemed fixed on becoming entirely inoffensive, a kind of Zutons you can dance to. As ever, unspecified relationship turbulence is the subject of Alexis Taylor's characteristically intimate vocal, and the whole thing gently undulates in a not entirely unpleasant way, but the group's general sweetness is tending to become rather sickly.

The Feeling, Turn It Up (Island)

It wasn't hard to like the Feeling's first hit single, Sewn, with its take on 1970s AOR. Since then, though, there's been a huge parting of ways: their tunes having taken one fork in the road, and the band taking the other, heavily laden with pounds sterling. Turn It Up, duly, is a composition that might sound like a song but is in fact an aggregate of unsatisfactory pieces, most of them belonging to Queen, from the quasi-classical piano part to the phased vocals. In this respect it's reminiscent of that other 1970s staple, the identikit picture - here, one with a large moustache.


John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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