Feeling a little snugger in your skinny jeans after Christmas? Well, don’t fret; revel in it. Take a tip from Sons & Daughters, the lean, mean, flick-knife wielding, leather-clad sex-and-murder queens and kings of Glasgow, who return for album number three altogether more voluptuous, buxom and booty-shaking than before. Because their producer, arch pop classicist Bernard Butler – he of Suede guitar-god fame – has teased them from their dark tenements, fed them full of milkshakes and taught them how to handclap and shimmy like Ronnie Spector and Elvis’ long-lost lovechildren.
Well, almost. The most exciting tracks are the ones where they’ve totally escaped the country-folk-punk niche they gouged with ‘Love The Cup’ and ‘The Repulsion Box’. It’s a sound that’s served them well, and hardcore fans would have been happy with more of the same. Fortunately, though, there’s more Sons & Daughters to love this time. Feast eyes and ears on the ample glories of ‘Chains’, with its “woah-oh-oh” rockabilly backing vocals, its Crystals-clear chorus and Adele Bethel sounding flirtatious rather than murderous as she trills, “Please believe me/There’s a river running through me” (although you still wouldn’t turn your back on her).
Occasionally, as on the slightly lacklustre ‘Flags’, you miss the sparer, meaner S&D of old; Adele’s voice doesn’t always sound in the comfort zone, there’s less space in the production and the song structure is more conventional and more Anglicised.
Mostly, though, it works a treat, particularly on ‘The Nest’, a kissing cousin to Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’ which pairs their lyrical bleakness with a fat Spectorish bass-line. And ‘Rebel With The Ghost’ is a throwback to their older, punchier sound, but with more na-na-na.
Meatier, beatier, bigger and bouncier. And all the better for it.