Regrettably, England's EMF
had been seared with the curse of premature victory, sometimes belting out "Unbelievable" two or three times per show, and many assumed they'd be forever damned to run from their own success until the day they took off their long shorts and cut their hair. But Epsom Mad Funkers
, an emphatic and touching tribute with new songs and a second disc of remixes, proves that what saved them from disaster was an anarchic instinct for just how to nail together the flotsam and jetsam of late-20th century chart music without sounding totally contrived. One moment you could get "Girl of an Age," the great, cherubic baggy anthem that never was, the next you'd be swimming about in megalomaniac, brain-rammed funk ("Perfect Day," "They're Here") or even a sort of facetious revelry, such as the live classic "EMF," which would rather stack up stylistic Lego blocks and smash them to pieces than try to mimic the picture on the box. For better or worse, nobody else sounded like this. They weren't the Happy Mondays
, they weren't Take That
-- in the end perhaps the only band in history to sound like both.