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Archie Powell & The Exports: Back In Black

Let there be sex.

Following a promising debut with an album on the woes of a touring band tested fans’ sympathies, but their third album finds the Chicago group focusing on the frustrations of getting laid.

It’s getting them down; on opener Everything’s Fucked, Powell can scarcely be bothered to wank. His howls of thwarted desire have echoes of Bleach or Black Francis.

What saves it is his wry self-awareness and the band’s pummelling of a good hook, brightening the desperate Tattoo On My Brain, Scary Dream, Holes and I’m Gonna Lose It. The final Everything’s Cool is a reconciliation – of sorts.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.