Canadian rock chick Melissa Auf Der Maur spent five years as the bassist with Hole, followed by a brief sting with Smashing Pumpkins. So having worked for two of the biggest egotists in the business (Courtney Love and Billy Corgan), it's hardly surprising that she feels the need for some breathing space. Bringing along some of her old bandmates for the ride, she's now made a storming debut solo album that reveals her to be a major talent in her own right. It's not for the faint-hearted, mind, being mostly made up of squalling guitars, keening vocals and doom-laden vocals that at times stray dangerously close to parody. Those with a soft spot for good old-fashioned gothic gloom, however, will feel right at home - and the songs are so well-crafted that even the cynics will find it hard not to give this feast of angst a grudging respect. If you're an old Pumpkins fan or have given up on the erratic Mrs Cobain, then get this album immediately - it's as good a substitute as you're going to find.