Cranebuilders Sometimes You Hear Through Someone Else

Liverpool’s Cranebuilders have attracted a fair bit of attention in their native land, not to mention being supported by the late BBC legend John Peel. Released a year ago in the UK, making this debut full-length available on this side of the ocean is a wise move, since their potent mix of slow, moody songs and dreamy guitar melodies sound like they belong in a sparse prairie landscape. With a melancholic atmosphere like that of the Tindersticks or Luna, the Cranebuilders really know how to craft a song around a simple storyline, which can cut through to the bone with its stark beauty. Things do take a bit of a fun jump on "Soap Opera Rant,” with its upbeat hooks and handclap-assisted chorus. Tom Roberts’ bare voice and honest delivery really anchor his sombre songs, and the production of Rob Ferrier is clean and unobtrusive. A nice touch is having the previous Eight Songs mini-album added on as bonus tracks. Overall, the result is a spacious and wonderful album worth celebrating, no matter how late it arrived on our shores. (Showtime / Paramount)