Album: The Boggs

Stitches, City Rockers
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The Independent Culture

Last year's We Are The Boggs We Are was a remarkable debut that cast this gang of Brooklyn youths as the urban inheritors of a rural folk-blues tradition, using the form's basic musical elements to create their own rough-hewn brand of rock'n'roll, in much the same way as The Pogues employed traditional Irish music. Though not quite as impressive, this follow-up is not without its inspirational moments, particularly in the singer Jason Friedman's lyrics, which can be sheer poetry. Take "Low Light Hour", which treats its gentle subject - the pre-dawn languor of sleepy lovers - with a mad punk-folk thrash that can't hide the beauty of lines such as "Your bare step, step skipped through/ The door with ruddy cheek/ I'm in love with you." Or "Brown Eyes", another berserk acoustic thrash with poetry in its heart: "In my sleeping I did spy/ Many tales strung awry/ As if to my heart malign/ Were my sleeping thoughts' design." Apart from a few quieter numbers in country-blues fingerpicking style, The Boggs' sound is based on a mulch of hyperactive drums and slide guitar, with occasional whiskers of banjo sprouting from the hubbub, all recorded with a raw, rough-and-ready immediacy that makes The White Stripes' celebrated lo-fi approach seem like a Brian Wilson pocket symphony. Best track: "The Ark", a strange, lolloping waltz of haunting mood and mysteriously apocalyptic mien.

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