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The best kept secret in music


A bitter-sweet ode for those days when you just want to forget the worries of the world, kick back and get drunk. Fred sings: “So let the bombs drop and all the guns shoot and the children all burn while there population is…because that’s all happening a million miles away and nothing’s going to spoil our perfect day.” Half light, half dark; it makes you feel relaxed and uncomfortable, reassured and disturbed all at the same time. R.O.C really are musical smart-arses. Bravo!

The purity of eclecticism. That point where references become utterly irrelevant and the whole takes over. In these days where the genre mishmash is as commonplace as retro-purism, the shock of (con)fusion no longer exists. The only only important issue would seem to be "just how cool are these references?"

A smelted ore of sublime rhythms, aching ambience and solid gold pop action. The aching sound of sweat on flesh, the psychedelic hues of oil on water and the poisonous fumes of ancient landfill. Toxic euphoria. "Virgin", impure as the polluted snow.
- melody maker

The Brixton-based trio's first album was category-defying yet highly-accessible, with film-like lyrics offering glimpses into dislocated scenarios and rhythmic ambiences running from harsh and industrial to gentle and melodic. This follow-up treads the same pleasingly non-retro path, but with the intensity and unease magnified several times. The tracks are tighter and more focused, the rhythms harder, the situations more oblique, the emotions more powerful, the settings more menacing, and the results more disturbing. In each situation - a kiss outside a Los Angeles hotel or an unbargained-for jail sentence - something has gone awry. Cut-ups, samples from televisions and answering machines, and a sense of American dream-turned-nightmare add to the alienation. Yet among the hurtling electro rhythms or simple, pared-down guitars, it remians precisely arranged and invitingly melodic. And it ends with a love song: now that is unsettling. **** - Q


current single "Princess" bbc 6music evening sequence
record of the week. also playlisted at

2 albums on Virgin and Setanta/Bar None respectively
3 singles on Virgin
12 singles/EPs on own labels Little Star and rocmusic

full discography on


Feeling a bit camera shy


ROC are set to release their 3rd album this autumn. Through previous releases they have gained a reputation for unpredictability. They recognise no generic limits, citing artists like The Beatles, Velvet Underground, Prince, Clash, New Order, Pink Floyd and Public Enemy who mixed up apparently conflicting styles. The late John Peel said "they are an unpredictable bunch aren’t they? I’m all in favour of that". Q awards – Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, accepting Best Album, said “I’d have added ROC to the list.”