Meursault’s brilliant debut Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues surprised us all by striding into the spotlight in 2008. Inevitably, follow-up LP All Creatures Will Make Merry finds the Auld Reekie outfit staring down the threat of expectation.
The opening salvo of Payday and Crank Resolutions’ sets off promisingly, building on a whirl of keys which accelerates alongside Neil Pennycook’s shivering cries. But from here the record wallows in folky toils – like Weather and One Day This’ll All Be Fields – that, although charming in tone, lack the atmospheric glow of their live outings – a glitch which owes a lot to the album’s frustratingly hazy production.
Despite the lulls, the band still pull off some significant moments; string-driven closer A Fair Exchange is an opulent weep, while New Ruin’s hypnotic percussion and gnarling effects ranks close to a career high. Not quite the predicted leap forward then, All Creatures... feels more of a restrained step sideways. [Billy Hamilton]
Meursault play Mono, Glasgow on 19 May and This is Music at Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh on 21 May.http://www.myspace.com/meursaulta701