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The name means nothing.

It came in a dream and�, as singer Olly Smith says, �at least there won't be any other bands calling themselves Countermine�. And there won't be many bands who sound like Countermine either.

Countermine�s uniqueness could be down to the fact that they developed in splendid isolation, a group of whacked-out teenagers getting their kicks wherever they could in the kind of English village (near Bath in this instance) where the one police car available to the local rozzer is shared with the village up the road. While chomping lysergic mushrooms is the past-time choice for most rural, farm-locked adolescents, Countermine were cutting their teeth in classic local band style by rehearsing in the village hall and picking up the odd gig.

It hotted up in 1995, the band all aged around fifteen at the time, when they blagged themselves a slot at Glastonbury Festival, thanks to the kind of incestuous community ties you find in the sticks (their physics teacher was Michael Eavis' son-in-law). This led to an appearance at the Pilton Party, where they shared the bill with Dodgy and the post come-down Stone Roses. 1995 climaxed with the Happy Mondays-like stroke of winning a local battle of the bands competition.

Inevitably, they came to the attention of Real World Studios, the local luxury country facility owned by Peter Gabriel, who offered them free rehearsal time. While still at school in 1997, Countermine beavered away at a raft of demos, polishing their sparkly electronics and full-blooded song crafting into a collection of songs which landed them a fat deal with London Records earlier this year.

Countermine have swallowed the hip (nearly) local influences of sampler-led electronic grooves (Bristol's not so far away) with some good country air, bolted it onto their own rock rush and exhaled their own hybrid with blue-eyed teenage enthusiasm. By teenagers, for teenagers, and anyone else with an ear for surprising sophistication.

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