Acoustic music had its place once upon a time, there’s no denying that. However, in 2014, it kinda feels like everything has been said, too many times to remember. Gardeners write folk music. Bankers write folk music. Even Michael Shannon writes folk music, for God’s sake. In a way it highlights the human races’ lack of originality. People like to think they’re unique, but really, we’re all just like an episode of My Family. We may look a bit different on the surface, but we’re saying the same things we’ve always said, just in a different order.

With ‘Voices in a Rented Room’, New Bums do offer something a bit different to the world of folk, and not just by having ‘Bums’ in their name. The album is the only acoustic record I can think of that sounds like the group are playing acoustic versions rather than songs made for the acoustic stage. The whole thing makes you scream out for a bit of fuzz. It comes eventually, on ‘Welcome to the Navy’, but by then the damage is done. The message is clear. For the good of mankind, the acoustic has got to go. I’d say “it’s not you, it’s me”, but I’d be lying.


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