The Hard Ons’ Peter Black has returned with his second album. On this release Mr Black has continued his departure from the loud punk rock sounds and has instead further explored the sounds of his acoustic guitar. Over the 12 tracks is some interesting exploration with elements of rock, folk and psychedelica all delivered in a stripped back acoustic way. There is a certain rough edged rawness to the songs that is backed with a great eerie atmosphere.

The album opens with the soft and playful sounds of All is forgotten. There are some quirky sounds explored over the course of the song that make for a quite endearing pop tune that flows along nicely. Looking for the Devil in every detail has a more menacing feel to it. There is a powerfully eerie atmosphere that is further enhanced with some brilliant violin sounds flowing into the sound. More or less is a folk-orientated tune that continues the chilling vibe sounding like a stripped back version of the Birthday Party. Algebra and calculus has a Syd Barrett feel to it with offbeat lyrics delivered in a charming manner. Watercolours is a powerful tune driven by some charismatic background vocals. Shack is possibly the biggest musical departure from Peter Blacks previous work, sounding something like an acoustic and slowed down version of the Flaming Lips. Cloud 9 has a kind of black comedy feel with aggressive lyrics sung in a chilled and carefree manner making for a rather strange listen.

This is quite an interesting album that is full of surprises over its duration. If you were after a raw punk rock album then this album is definitely not for you! Rather this is more suited to those after offbeat pop tunes in the vein of Syd Barrett or the Flaming Lips. There is a large range of ideas explored in a very unique fashion making for an album that may take a few listens to fully appreciate. Those that take the time to fully explore the album for all its worth will find some truly great pop tunes!

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