Arab Strap Elephant Shoe

Scotland's Arab Strap still haven't come to terms with love. While their last album took its name from the fear of love (Philophobia), their new CD's title is what you can mouth to someone when you want them to think you say "I Love You" - Elephant Shoe. So you shouldn't really expect any radical departures from their previous obsessions - sex, alcohol, infidelity and stumbling in and out of relationships. If anything, Elephant Shoe isn't quite as bleak as their earlier albums - the yarns that Aidan Moffatt spins are still dark, brooding and filled with both bile and humour. He mumbles stories into your ear that are so personal that it can make for some uncomfortable listening at times. For every song like "Tanned," which offers happier moments, there are three like "Pro-(Your)Life" that document Moffatt's own demons. There is no other band at the moment recording music as brutally honest as Arab Strap, and that is what makes them so compelling. (Jetset)