Mongrel, the U.K. indie-rock hip-hop crossover act, is to give away its debut album "Better Than Heaven" free with national newspaper the Independent on March 7.

The move is billed as the first time a debut album has been distributed free with a newspaper in the U.K. Previously such deals have involved new albums from established acts such as Prince and McFly, or compilations or new album samplers from bands including Sigur Ros.

Mongrel features Reverend and the Makers members Jon McClure and Joe Moskow, original Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson, Babyshambles guitarist Drew McConnell and rapper Lowkey.

"This move gives the widest possible platform to artists whose voices could otherwise be ignored and gets the music onto CD players across the land. It also calls into question the values of the recorded music industry," said McClure in a statement. "It is a pleasure to do this with the Independent, we are a truly independent band rather than one that just adopts indie values, so it is fitting we are doing this with this newspaper."

"Better Than Heaven" will also be released digitally and physically via Wall Of Sound/PIAS following the Independent giveaway.

For more on Mongrel see the current issue of Billboard magazine.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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