Watford lads Matt Welch and Terry Ryan, aka Atomic Hooligan, have been the toast of the underground dance scene for more then a decade now, turning out a string of acclaimed hybrid records from a small cottage in Chipperfield.

Their debut album You Are Here, released in 2005, was a huge critical success, lauded with near pant wetting excitement by the more fringe elements of the music press.

“Quite simply one of the finest rock/dance hybrid albums ever," crowed- DJ Magazine, after slapping the boys on the front cover and naming it in their top 10 albums if the year.

So too the lads have featured in XFM, Mojo, M8 and Q Magazines, The Daily Mirror and even the Watford Observer (cough cough).

They’ve toured the world, DJ’d at the biggest venues in the business, and collaborated with near musical royalty. An A&R man’s dream, you might think – so why have so many people never heard of them?

“I suppose we’re still in a niche market place,” says Matt, 33, as the boys prepare for the release of their second album Sex Drugs and Blah Blah Blah on March 17.

“If what we do crosses over into other markets then that’s great – but we’re keen just to do what Atomic Hooligan has always done and to do what we do well.”

So what do the guys do well?

Quite simply they manage to fuse together many conflicting styles, cooking up an at times mesmeric recipe of hip-hob, dance, break-beat, rock and Indie; unlikely bedfellows that, as Matt puts it, just seem to work.

It’s little wonder, really, as the guys leave little to chance, recruiting a willing ensemble of talented artists help things along.

The brilliantly titled Sex Drugs and Blah Blah Blah is really no different, with artists including Elmo Jones (of the Furies), Justine Berry (of Hey Gravity), Genesis Elijah, and Afu Ra all chipping in.

“If you heard us sing you’d realize why we have guest artists in,” adds Matt. “But really we don’t like to call them guests. It’s really more of a family thing.”

“A Big melting pot of talent really does make for one tasty musical stew,” reads the accompanying, highly excitable press release. Frankly I couldn’t agree more.

This album has been on pretty much none stop loop in my car for the best part of a week; the cause of a number of near-misses and one near fatal off on the A414.

It’s wheel tapping stuff from the very top drawer, with the lyrically inspired title track Blah Blah Blah undoubtedly its high point; an angry, teeth nashing rant at false celebrity and material excess. ‘Come the revolution!’ “We want to make music that tells a story; that goes somewhere and isn’t just the same thing over again,” explains Matt with a great deal of modesty as I heap praise on his latest offering.

I think my predecessor Martin Booth (a massive AH fan by the way) sums their sound as well as anyone with the following, generously supplied quote: “I never realised I was a break-beat fan before, but Atomic Hooligan make music the whole world can dance to."

“These guys really do Watford proud.”

So what’s plan for the future?

“Obviously we want to sell as many albums as possible this time. Last time we did about 35,000 units which was pretty good, but these days you just don’t know because the market has changed so much “To be honest, though, nowadays you’ll always make more from the live club scene. You’ll only make big money if you’re with the very biggest record companies but we’re happy with things as they are. We’re making a living from music which is all we want to do.”

For more info see www.atomichooligan.com