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Futon - Painkiller

With Tim Simenon producing, Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson supplying visuals, Chicks on Speed remixing, Bangkok's Futon seem destined to be huge. Despite appearances on MTV, and appearances at various prime festivals in Asia, Futon, the multi-cultural sleazoid electro-punk-rockers, that count Suede's Simon Gilbert and Bee of Into A Circle as members, remain something of a well kept-secret here in the UK. Even the excited chatter of pop svengali Simon Napier-Bell in an Observer supplement hasn't turned the kids onto Futon.

Which is a great pity as Painkiller is bursting with hyper blasts of indie-rock, fuelled by glam riffs, punk sensibilities, electro touches amidst a highly sexed atmosphere. Futon now count former Suede drummer Simon Gilbert and Japanese bassist Oh, alongside Bee (of Into A Circle / Getting the Fear fame) and the tattooed Thai frontman Gene. Painkiller is littered with allusions to sex and violence, love and hate. It's a world of cold shoulders, stilted relationships and one night stands. "When I look at you I seen Nothing, Nothing, Nothing" Gene, wryly sings on the rousing chorus of 'End of You'. There's no messing about on 'Motorbike': "Roll the dice, the triggers pulled, pay the price, the animals culled". 'U Mean Nothing 2 Me' - an evil Prince title, if ever there was one - is especially good, a mass of sprawling guitars and rampant drumming with the appropriately detached tones of Bee. It's the first of two tracks reworked from the thrilling electro beats of their debut Never Mind The Botox. The other, 'Morning After Pill', is cold electronics and quavering tones, mixed by fellow Thai resident and former Coil member Peter Christopherson, warmed by the smooth, smouldering voice of Gene. This dip into electronics is the exception to the rule, as Painkiller revolves around cool, taut basslines and soaring and ringing trashy guitars, like the forceful punch of 'Strap It On' and 'Motorbike'. 'Sheila Tequila', meanwhile, comes on like Bowie, Suede and even Adam Ant circa Vive Le Rock. The melodic stomp of 'Love So Strong', re-recorded from its appearance on Love Bites, is a love song for the late Geff Rushton of Coil. The entire thing sounds like day-glo punk rock, capturing the energy of seventies punk dashed with elements of club culture. The beats and rhythms really take precedence on the extra tracks with mixes from Chicks on Speed, Punx Soundcheck, Goldfish and The Fantastic IQ of David Gunn.

Where do they fit? Who knows, maybe they don't but they're as glamorous as hell, with a knowing attitude drawn from their varied musical backgrounds and the clubs of Bangkok. On Painkiller they return as a far raunchier and rockier outfit to the multi-cultural clubbers that rode in on the back of electroclash. One thing that remains though is their ability to thrill, and, after the lacklustre Love Bites, Painkiller is thoroughly exciting. For more information go to or