Album review: Howl Griff - Fragile Diamond

Classic songwriting informs everything from psych-rock to twee folk on this satisfying LP.

Perhaps not the bearded, primeval moors-dwellers their name suggests, Howl Griff’s third album does however find them in huggable Bigfoot territory.

Dressed up to the nines in nifty wordplay and with a voracious appetite for musical styles, Fragile Diamond lurches from psych-rock to twee folk to classic British songwriting without pausing for lunch.

The irresistible, jangly jaunt of tracks like opener You Don’t Have To Leave On Your Own, quickly shifts to Kinks-y acoustic guitar on the title track, and even takes on Krautrock in F�ssb�kk�r’s muscly riff, imaginitively cut with theramin.

There’s a definite Belle & Sebastian bounce on International Dateline, while Sharkfins In The Sky’s woo-hoos and addictive riff seem destined for radiowave dominance.

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Half-time marker Puppet Operation Time feels listless, but the jerkily cool guitar line and pumping crescendo of She Walks On By The Flame gets them back in the frame for some unoriginal but well-executed dancefloor fun.

A lively, varied set.

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3 stars

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