The last Girls Aloud album, Chemistry, came with an excellent bonus disc of Christmas songs, including originals like “Not Tonight Santa” and “Christmas Round At Ours”, stuffed with goodwill and mild naughtiness of the “pull a cracker” variety.  They felt, somehow, like the most English things the Girls had ever done, at least until “Fling”, from the new record. “Just a fling baby, fling baby – ding-a-ling baby!” – on paper these lyrics make you cringe but they’re sung with music hall relish: this is one of the band’s spiciest* and strongest vocal performances, a brilliant predatory holler. The theme – inasmuch as you can pin Miranda Cooper lyrics down to a theme – is casual pick-ups, and the simple joy of the record is how it keeps shifting gears from generic Ritzy’s disco to a turbocharged new-wave mosh, catching you unawares with the aggression as the Girls spot a catch and pile onto the metaphorical dancefloor. The Lex, a man with a tin ear for vulgarity, absolutely hates it, but this is an awesome combination of seaside postcard brassiness and binge-drink-Britain shamelessness.

*If Geri had had songs like “Fling” back when she split the Spicers, that ‘female Robbie’ thing might have actually worked.