Song titles like ‘Suffer So Long’ and, simply, ‘Suicide’, suggest an unremitting bleakness to this third Tall Firs LP, and so it largely proves to be. Music this downbeat can be, if not rewarding, then at least fulfilling if it’s done with beauty, if it reflects and engages with unhappiness but still offers a shred of hope; but there is little light to be found in this dark forest. ‘Waiting On A Friend’ does have at least a musical warmth, though, like Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’ played in front of an open fire rather than underneath a bridge. But the vocals throughout seem to be delivered from the pit of despair, a place where there really is no hope left, and this document of abject misery is ultimately scarred by those vocals, which, at length, grate like hell. Sometimes musically engaging, ‘Out of It…’ is one-paced and almost entirely bereft of compassion.

By Chris Watkeys

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