Hefner The Fidelity Wars

Hefner’s debut album Breaking God’s Heart, was like a bolt from the blue in the world of indie-pop — the combination of jangling guitars and Darren Hayman’s falsetto crooning was very appealing, and thankfully that is also true on the more polished follow-up. Hayman demonstrates a level of angst with the opposite sex that has only been previously equalled by the Wedding Present’s David Gedge. Love is inevitably unrequited or alternatively it all ends with someone’s tears; men aren’t afraid to cry in Hefner’s world — it’s practically compulsory. Even the more upbeat songs, such as lead single “Hymn For The Cigarettes,” have an underlying melancholy, but the more elaborate arrangement this time round (the occasional pedal steel and brass section) stops it from getting too morose. Hayman’s voice is a bit of an acquired taste, but it isn’t too off-putting to any indie kid brought up on a diet of the Smiths. On the strength of their output to date, Hefner could turn into a force for be reckoned with. (Too Pure)