the guardian Sat 31 January 2009
John Niven's high-pressure spray of invective against the record industry is set in 1997. The grandiose pronouncements about new signings made by industry bosses that open the chapters are utterly deflated by a decade's hindsight: "I see Gina G developing the way Madonna has"; "3 Colours Red - I'm serious, they're going to be huge". A&R men throng the novel's trendy bars and seminars alongside the despicable Steven Stelfox, exec at a flagging fictional label. To use the phrase "sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll" to describe the action would be about as adequate as calling the economic downturn "a little wobble". Here are the frantic couplings of a Sadeian monster, fuelled by all the filth it's possible to shovel into one pair of nostrils and soundtracked by the horribly amplified death rattle of pop music. American Psycho meets The X Factor in an orgy of mad, gleeful nastiness. A sustained spew of gothic nonsense, blackly lampooning the stupid, hypocritical world of the music industry, it'll probably make you go deaf, but you'll be having too much fun to care.