A clattering, rattling roll of country-tinged indie skiffle from the Edinburgh open mic scene favourite, one which takes on kitchen-sink songwriting with crafty attention to detail. The insistent Tinder demands and melodramatic Lotharios that come with dating in the internet age butt up against patronising indie boys with warm pints and unread poetry books. It’s got a bit of the early days of MySpace about it; the barely contained chaotic shambles of those first Arctic Monkeys or Mystery Jets albums, punky energy on acoustic guitars and a cheeky nod to the gallery.
There are some interesting little kernels; a bit of dissection of performative masculinity on ‘Tinder’, something about the gulf between social media image and reality as a theme that comes back later on ‘Brown Wine’, with its phenomenally acerbic coda. Some excellent fiddle playing and a scrappy DIY attitude pull the rest along on sheer charm and force of will.
AWOL is out now