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Nearly three decades in and David Gedge’s near-legendary ball of gloriously downhearted indie sounds as tight and energetic as ever.

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The eighth album from one of our homegrown indie legends finds David Gedge reassuringly spearing, eulogising and beautifying downbeat rejection, missed opportunity and frustrated disappointment with aplomb.

Four years on from El Rey, this 10-strong set finds the national treasure in fine fettle, balancing harsh guitar-and-drum thrashes with female backing vocals or sweet harmonies, and stacking high his inimitable, gruffly broken-hearted lyrics.

‘I used to think that I’d rather fight with you/Than fall in love with somebody new’ he sings on the rousing You’re Dead, a brief shot of proactive rage before helpless ennui returns, wrapped in Gedge’s unaffected, wry delivery.

Listening to a man on an indefatiguable downer rarely sounds this good.

4 stars

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