The Loosehounds -Takista (Rembrandt)
Formerly The Loosehound Drifters, the Shropshire/Welsh six piece return with an eagerly awaited sophomore album, once again produced by former T'Pau man Ronnie Rogers and once again mining their passion for heated rhythms and drivingly atmospheric acoustic folk rock that isn't ashamed of its roots in the heady days of late 60s progressive folk espoused by the likes of Traffic and Lindisfarne.
It's a lot tighter and more confident this time round too, Rogers gelling the instruments together in arrangements that create a surging wash of sound but also distinguish individual textures.
Singer Mark Haywood is behind all the material, two tracks co-penned with mandolin player Richard Beasley, one with drummer (and band engine) Richard Jones and one as a band composition. They do the personal relationship bit, Turn Me On a grown up love song, but most are forged by social-political conscience, a commentary, that informs the observations of the Lonely World. Lies, Wheels To The World and the simple acoustic Good Morning that addresses eco issues, the Iraq war and the apathy towards Third World poverty. Taking its title from the Estonian/Greek for soon, the slow building title track serves as a warning of impending apocalypse, told through a view of Earth (aka Takista) from the perspective of colonists from space looking to find a planet with all the resources necessary for their survival, reporting back that the same eco madness is driving it to self-destruction.
Someone described the album as evocative of early Fleetwood Mac, but if you want a better comparison point, then Latin Quarter would be your best musical map reference, which strikes me as incentive enough.