ARMS OF KISMET – Cutting Room Rug (Wampus Multimedia)

Following on from their debut album ‘Eponymous’ in 2004, Arms Of Kismet present their second album. Opening song ‘Auriculara (Listen To Me)’ is vocally a dead ringer for Elvis Costello, and as I don’t recall that from the first album, it is something of a surprise to hear at the beginning of this record. It is toned down a bit for ‘Outbound Train’ and sounds all the better for it, making this collision of beats and finger-picked guitar an instant highlight of the album. ‘Clover’ takes a rockabilly direction, mixing it with some jazzy drumming to give an enjoyable, but slightly unusual piece. ‘Coil’ utilises twangy guitar to give an epic ‘Twin Peaks’ feel, which is also reflected in the ominous lyrics. ‘Life Initiates’ lifts the mood with a lovely acoustic ballad, but ‘Cracks’ soon re-introduces the unsettling feel of ‘Coil’, with the added extra of house beats. ‘Pinnacle Of Same’ rounds off the album with an upbeat pop/rock tune, and a return of the Costello vocal inflections. Although I must admit that I don’t play the band’s first album all that much, this one does seem to be much better on the first couple of hearings, with the songs being more memorable, and many of them having such catchy tunes that you can recall them after hearing them just a couple of times. An excellent album from Mark Doyon and friends, and a worthy successor to their well-received debut.