Three brothers from Oklahoma in the United States who work under the band name of Hanson have begun to scale the heights of international pop stardom. Following success in the US and Britain with their No 1 hit MMMBop, they have now released their debut album Middle of Nowhere. 'We are trying to take the success Hanson already has and introduce them to a Hong Kong audience,' said Mikki Li Mei-ki, promotion manager for Polygram Record Company. She said the group planned to visit Hong Kong next month. The Hanson brothers - pretty, middle-class boys with long blond hair - are 11-year-old drummer Zachary, 14-year-old keyboardist Taylor, and 16-year-old guitarist Isaac. Their father's oil industry job meant the Hanson boys have spent most of their lives in places like Trinidad, Ecuador and Venezuela, listening to one well-worn compilation tape of rock 'n' roll songs from the years 1957 to 1969. This isolation has resulted in the brothers emerging as a pop songwriting team which merges the spirit of Bart Simpson and Kurt Cobain, with a little bit of the Jackson Five thrown in for good measure. And it is also why the Hanson sound is partly reminiscent of Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin, Johnnie Taylor, Otis Redding and the Beach Boys. Since 1992, the brothers have recorded two self-distributed CDs, written more than 100 original songs and performed in public hundreds of times. Ironically, when Hanson played at the Blue Rose Cafe, a hip Tulsa bar, they had to perform outside because they were not old enough to get in. When they approached band manager Christopher Sabec in Austin, Texas, and burst into an irresistible a cappella version of MMMBop, he reached for his cheque book. Twelve other labels had passed on Hanson between 1992 and 1995 and most thought this act would ruin and humiliate Sabec. Their debut album was produced by Steve Iironi and the Dust Brothers, the folks who brought you Black Grape and Beck respectively. MMMBop is one of four songs on the album written solely by the brothers. Other songwriting collaborators include Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who worked with the Righteous Brothers, The Crystals, and the Animals in the 1960s. Mark Hudson and Ellen Shipley, who have written for Aerosmith and Belinda Carlisle, also contributed. Middle of Nowhere is chock-full of jubilant pop, modern rock, 1970s- style soul and even gospel influence. The trio sings about friendship, girls, loneliness, family members and aliens. MMMBop itself is a sunny, vibrant slice of pop, reminiscent of classic Jackson Five stompers such as ABC and I Want You Back. When MMMBop hit No 1, it was the first time since 1979 - when the Bee Gees ruled with Love You Inside Out - that a three-brother band had climbed to the top of the US charts. Two other acts containing three brothers had hit No 1 - Atlantic Starr in 1987 and INXS in 1988.