The second album from the Scottish sextet sees them further developing their folk-rock sound whilst dropping the ‘Fistful of Fivers’ part of their moniker. Their great strength is their talent for diversity; darting straight from the rollicking ‘Roll For Me’ into the more contemplative ‘Courage’, a track channels the world weariness of Nick Cave, backed by acoustic guitar flourishes. Though their trademark brass section is still in place ‘End Game’ manages to looser and more dynamic than their debut. The arrangements on the likes of ‘King’s Liar’s celtic-soul are more complex, bringing to mind the likes of Dexy’s Midnight Runners but there’s still a sense of spontaneity and excitement.

woodenbox

‘Beautiful Terrible’ summons the jittery wordiness of Elvis Costello whilst ‘Everyone Has A Price’ and ‘Easy Life’ deliver rousing Mumfords choruses. The production by Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand) is excellent, delivering a clean but retro sound that gets the most out of the horn section. The lyrics may tend to focus on vague disquiet or hardship but the music is graceful and rolling; a solid soundtrack to a warm afternoon. For fans of the alt-folk of Grizzly Bear or The Mountain Goats, Woodenbox are ones to look out for.

[Max Sefton]

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