Frames The Roads Outgrown

If at first listen The Roads Outgrown doesn't sound like a cohesive album, you can take solace in the fact that it is not supposed to. Think of this as an in-between release for the immensely popular Irish band (though only moderately so over here) bridging 2000's For the Birds with a pending new record to be released by Anti. The songs here are from sundry origins — some live, others recorded in different studios by different people — and many have popped up on compilations or as B-sides released in Ireland but not available in North America. The band has updated the Waterboys' approach of packing the electric guitar and the fiddle when going into the studio — though without the obvious Celtic overtones — and achieves gripping dynamics with clashing guitar chords and a barrage of lyrics all juxtaposed with seductive violin (most especially on "Sickbeds" and the almost nine-and-a-half minute live version of "Fitzcarraldo"). Other stand out tracks include alternate versions of "Lay Me Down" and "Headlong" off For the Birds, and a studio version of Will Oldham's "New Partner" — previously available as a live track on Breadcrumb Trail. (Overcoat)