A Caledonian Libertines at the time of 2007 debut Hats Off To The Buskers – admittedly with a taste for Buckfast rather than the brown – this Dundee four-piece have since suffered from indie rock’s steady decline in the public’s affections while remaining largely unchanged.
Optimistically described as “Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours done by The Clash” by singer Kyle Falconer, their fourth album does at least see them broadening their horizons.
The Bunker (Solid Ground) and The Clock shimmer with a musical maturity unimaginable at the time of 2009’s Which Bitch? and Falconer’s ear for a chorus ensures that trademark singalongs (Hold On Now, Bullet) still retain a certain charm.
Unfortunately, mid-tempo ruminations Hole In The Bed and Anfield Row now sound as contemporary as a vuvuzela, and it’s hard to shake the notion that their self-imposed image as dissolute scamps has now become a straitjacket they must somehow break out of if they are to survive.