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Cranebuilders | Sometimes You Hear Through Someone Else (Skinny Dog)
A Liverpudlian quintet conceived in a record store by mainman Tommy Roberts, Cranebuilders have apparently drawn parallels (from very lazy journalists, it seems) to Will Oldham or Leonard Cohen - but I just don't hear that, not that either would be a bad thing, of course. To my ears, they sound closer to a more melancholic Whipping Boy, or perhaps a more considered A House - two comparisons that, although less obvious, are no less appealing, at least to me. Unlike 2003's 'Just Idleness' EP, the album is more of a slow-burner; 'Just Idleness' took my breath away the very first time I heard it, but the album makes a more subtle impression initially, only to grow with repeated spins. The subject matter is poignant and honest, while the songs maintain a steady pace and form a powerful body of work, rather than a collection of individual tracks thrown together in haphazard fashion. There's certainly something about this band that places them circa 1991, but in a good way, and in the current climate they have no obvious peers, all of which means they fill a void perfectly, with a strong, accomplished and considered longplayer.

Andy Slocombe
February-April 2005