My Latest Novel Wolves

Oh, those dour Scots. They may come from one of the most beautiful places on Earth and make some fine booze (though the beer could use some work), but their outlook always seems to be reliably gloomy. Though My Latest Novel may not plumb the depths like Mogwai or wrap up their angst in summery melodies like Belle & Sebastian, they come closest to the outlook of the late, and great, Delgados. While they don’t meet that band’s sheer clarity and urgency, they come as close as anyone is bound to come. With a real knack for tugging the heart with tortuous climaxes of strings, vocal harmonies and pounding guitars, they really make an impression and hold the torch aloft. Take the beautiful and measured "Sister Sneaker Sister Soul,” where Chris Deveney’s plaintive vocals, with just a hint of his Scottish burr, grab the attention, but it is the stirring post-rock inflected climax that hits home. Another triumph would be the slow burning "Boredom Killed Another,” which builds the tension and atmosphere but with a real love for melody. You can tell this is a debut album, but the imagination is definitely piqued as these Scots will surely dazzle given enough space. (The Workers Institute)