Purveyors of scuzzy synth drenched indie, Applicants dredge influences from colourful surrealist noise rockers Melt-Banana to GameBoy noises and moustachioed African dictators. ‘School Kids In Japan’ explodes in a fluorescent hail of keyboards and erratic bursts of guitars. Like stumbling across your hidden stash of Bis records, ‘Tesco Metro Disco’ is a full-on shot of 90s nostalgia that lives up to its ‘riotous’ tagline while ‘Crash Mat’ smashes into the room like a brawl in a Super Mario game and pitches the band further on a musical collision course. Like Ash when they were still wiry-haired and angry, Applicants know their way around a hook, in their tuneful ditty about the exploits of African Hitler-in-waiting Robert Mugabe particularly. Always tongue in cheek it manages to steer clear of the navel-gazing that blights most indie records, this is scrappy, chaotic and oddly loveable.

By Kate Parkin

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