Jackie Leven seems to be trying to inject some energy into the accoustic country genre. But he’s going to have trouble if he merely using the same conventions that has built such a vastly known yet widely criticised counter-culture of music.
Flagposted single ‘Fareham Confidential’ is going to be a key move that makes or breaks the album. The iambic poentamiter of the singing, the accoustic strings and oh yes the much loved harmonica are all present and correct cliches. But then ‘Lovers at the Gun Club’ you wonder if it’s a dig a rifle totting Texan cliches. So is he indeed taking himself seriously, or is the whole enterprise sticking its gun firmly in its cheek. And if so do we need a whole album of throw back jokes when a song or two would do.
There are certainley moments of surrality – especially in the second half of the later song. And it is something that is widley needed to expand this work from the roots it seems to grasp and not want to let go of.