Ikara Colt

Chat and Business (Epitaph)

In the years since Johnny Rotten first reared his leering mug, England has been conspicuously slow in spawning successors to its original crop of rock and roll revolutionaries. Rather, recent British movements like "Madchester" and Britpop created a new rock aristocracy preoccupied with little more than its own hedonism, platinum sales, and tabloid celebrity. But this is what makes Ikara Colt's reaffirmation of U.K. punk's anti-establishment all the more timely.

"A new day is dawning," vocalist Paul Resende chants on "City of Glass," and it feels more like a warning than a celebration. Ikara Colt calls for complete artistic upheaval, and Chat and Business is the band's manifesto, serving notice to icons of everything from boring pop music to bourgeois art. The London-based quartet doesn't bludgeon the listener with three-chord rants and anarchist rhetoric; this is minimalist art-college punk in the tradition of Wire and the Fall.

But don't get too attached. Band members have told the British press that any group that exceeds a five-year shelf life should be taken out and shot. Don't expect IC to wear out its welcome; the band has said its desire is to incite kids to pick up guitars and trump it at its own game. Any takers?