TEMPERATURES soared at the penultimate heat of the second round of the Battle of the Bands at Fibbers last night. So much so that the solitary ceiling fan struggled to cope and even the teenagers found it too hot to mosh.

The evening kicked off with the industrial metal of Nerve Harvest.

Clad in the traditional thrash metal uniform of shoulder-length hair and faded black T-shirt, lead singer Matt Townsend led his band through an intense set.

The music ranged from melodic tunes reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails to the classic head-banging thrash of Napalm Death.

Despite Townsend wearing a White Zombie T-shirt celebrating "Ugly music for ugly people", their songs contained surprisingly varied rhythms including, at one point, tabla-style drums.

The contest's favourites, Morgan 4, produced a series of mature and well-crafted songs.

The band's lighter-swaying, sing-a-long Indie anthems were influenced by Starsailor with shades of Radiohead and the Manic Street Preachers.

They are a band you can easily imagine having in your CD collection and going far in the charts. The band formed a year ago at Leeds College of Music and have clearly already established a loyal fan base.

Mancunian lead singer David McNamara possessed an impressively clear and expressive voice that stood head and shoulders above the rest. Their soothing melodies won the vote of the secret panel.

No one was surprised when they claimed victory and a place in the semi-finals.

However, my personal favourites were the schoolboy punks, Duck Sick, who came a close second in the contest. While they lacked the polished vocals of Morgan 4, they more than made up for it with youthful exuberance.

Describing themselves as the "Spice Girls of punk"', the five-piece, ranging in age from 15 to 17, ricocheted around the stage with contagious delight. Dressed in what appeared to be school uniforms, they brought the audience to their feet with their optimistic and feel-good tunes.

The kazoo-playing lead singer, Dan Gott, used every part of the stage, including the crowd barriers.

He conducted his band like a punk James Brown and danced like Animal from the Muppets robbed of his drums.

You would never have guessed that the band, four of whom still go to school in York, had only been gigging for five months. It would not be unexpected if, next year, Duck Sick were serious contenders for the finals.