Album: Todd Snider, Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables (Aimless)

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Grungy, sarcy, Americany, cross but cheery, Snider has never not taken a position on anything, whether it's God, bankers or Mick 'n' Keith.

AH&SF meets all his usual criteria: it's funny and sour and something of a mess. Slubbed guitar, dustbin-lid drums, chorusing fiddle, vocal delivery that springs from the pinched shallows of the sinus. And that is always the issue with Snider albums: you like 'em for their thinking and their spirit; you only quite like 'em for their musicianliness.