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This year's equivalent of a musical alarm clock is Elastica, a four-piece English band fronted by singer/songwriter Justine Frischmann. Just as the Ramones and the Sex Pistols did in the late Seventies, Elastica has stripped away the layers of dead pop to find the core of punk. Like the great punk albums of old, Elastica hits you hard and fast. Only four of the albumís 16 tracks exceed three minutes in length. You wonít find anything slow or sappy. With lyrics like, Is there something you lack when Iím flat on my back, is there something that I can do for you? the bitter Stutter is as close as Elastica gets to a love song.

Justine Frischmann (vocals, guitar) Donna Mafthews (guitar/backing vocals) Annie Holland (bass) Justin Welch (drums)


Elastica's Justine Frishmann and Donna Matthews recently elasticated about the songs on the band's self-titled debut album. Elastica (DGC Records), produced by Marc Waterman and Elastica, was recorded in London largely in the summer of 1994.

"Line Up": "About drivel heads (groupies). 'Drive[ head loves the new band/knows them like the back of her hand/you can't see the wood for the trees/on your knees.' This is the original version of the first song we ever recorded."

"Annie": "Annie."

"Connection": "Musically quite odd. This song doesn't sound like anyone else ever."

"Car Song": "In modem life, we're so spoiled. Too many choices makes it hard to really want to be monogamous."

"Smile": "Anyone who's ever lived with anyone else can relate to the feeling you get when you're lying in bed and waiting for him to come home, not knowing if he's had an accident or he's with someone else -- and not knowing which is worse. It's about smiling when he comes in the door when you feel like hitting him."

"Hold Me Now": "Wanting to get laid."

"S.O.F.T': "Watching someone being overtaken by the media surrounding them."

"Indian Song": "Like something the Beatles might have written on the train ride home from seeing the Maharishi. For us, it was something that came out of jamming in the studio at three in the morning."

"Blue": (Matthews) "Not about anything really. I take lines from magazines and put them together according to my mood, trying to give the feel of whatever the vibe is at the moment. Why magazines? Journalists use more interesting words in expressing meaning than I do in day-to-day language."

"All-Nighter": "Being frustrated about wanting to be with someone but it seems you have to wait forever for that first move."]

"Waking Up": "I have a friend who's a bit of an underachiever. She's beautiful, intelligent, and gifted - but she can't get out of bed. She'd rather do nothing than something imperfect."

"2.1 ": (Matthews) "Inspired by doing a gig in Newport - the first before my family and friends. The song's about putting on a brave face when you're really, really nervous. It's about conquering fear."

"See That Animal": "Brett Anderson of Suede wrote most of the words and I asked if we could use them. It's about how he felt about that band. It began as a prediction -- and became an exorcism."

"Stutter": "Drunken boyfriends."

"Never Here": "A little angst that I was surprised came out of me. About a relationship that's over. Its quite reflective. The length, I suppose, mirrors the relationship running out of steam."

"Vaseline": "Meant to be funny."

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