JOHNNY MARR - The Messenger

GUITAR hero Johnny Marr is back with his debut solo album, 26 years after parting company with The Smiths.

It starts with the raucous single The Right Thing Right and continues in a similar vein throughout, barely pausing for breath as Marr maps out his musical agenda of no-nonsense indie rock and roll.

Marr’s playing is superb - not showy but measured and melodic. Songs such as Upstarts recall another of his old bands, Electronic, while the occasional jingle jangle guitar line brings back warm memories of his all-conquering partnership with Morrissey.

THEME PARK - Theme Park

HOTLY-tipped Theme Park’s brilliant debut album invokes the spirit of summer and the carefree joys of youth.

The four-piece simultaneously sound like Wham!, Madonna, Vampire Weekend, Friendly Fires, MGMT, Foster The People and Talking Heads, which is some achievement.

The glorious technicolour of tracks such as Jamaica and A Place They’ll Never Know hints that this band could well become huge one day.

DROPOUT DAN - Forever, Instead

CAMBRIDGESHIRE-based Daniel O’Dell’s angst-ridden acoustic rock is pitched somewhere between Ed Sheeran, Frank Turner and Feeder.

Having performed 100s of shows, he has built up a strong fanbase and says this mini-album is a collection of songs from the heart about his surroundings.

It’s clear that Daniel is a passionate songwriter, someone who expresses his feelings and experiences through his music, and this CD will appeal to fans of the aforementioned acts.