Impressive Steve Albini-produced second from post-punk pivots

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Electrelane – The Power Out

Strangely, female gang of four Electrelane have proven to be ahead of the game, their debut Rock It To The Moon pre-empting the jagged rhythm-flinging of The Rapture, Hot Hot Heat and Franz Ferdinand. Recorded in Chicago with Steve Albini, their newie brings in vocals, Verity Susman droning in English, French, German and Spanish while the minimalist grooves grow ever tighter. There’s a neat PIL-like strut to “On Parade”, while “Birds” blossoms into cheeky Verlaine-ish guitar. The stunning set-piece, however, is “The Valleys”, a Siegfried Sassoon poem crooned by a full choir while the band berate the beat. It’s extraordinary. And powerful.