It would take a stony heart to begrudge Manchester trio I Am Kloot their 2010 Mercury nomination and modest commercial success after more than a decade's toil. But this follow-up doesn't allay the suspicion that it has as much to do with the patronage of Guy Garvey (who produces again here) as the band's own qualities. The best of these blues and folk-indebted songs carry the faint warmth and reassuring whiff of an old pub as frontman John Bramwell reflects wittily on life's disappointments. But there's a pervading drabness that they struggle to shake, most noticeably when These Days Are Mine strains for stadium-rock uplift.
Ally Carnwath writes on Africa and music for the Guardian and Observer