The description "cult band" usually suggests a group that has been going for a while but is only really important to a very small number of people. This definition can be applied to The Pastels, in that they are a permanent feature of student bedrooms, scouring out the back rooms of the Western world. Such an impression may be unfair, as is the fact that good fortune always seems to have eluded them. But their music has been a breath of fresh air - and a fistful of dollars - to a whole generation of musicians, and it doesn't stop with Teenage Fanclub. Sonic Youth rate them, and JAMC and Kurt Cobain revered them. "Les Inrockuptibles" Paris, France.