A shift of focus on album number four as Thirty Pounds Of Bone sees Johnny Lamb broaden his musical scope to indulge in some shoegazing rather than returning to the folk stylings of his previous works.
Consequently the overall tone of the album is far more upbeat than either its title or cover initially suggest. Even slower songs such as 'Your Walk', that bear a close resemblance to the contents of Lamb's earlier albums, gain a charge of positivity from their production in a more "rock" vein.
Cacophonous numbers 'Pasganger, Or The Wagon' and 'The Expelled', on the other hand, firmly push his songwriting into territory that borders on that of Snow Patrol although with thankfully far less saccharine in the mixture. Take that into account along with the almost random sounding brass passages in opener 'The Glass Of An Iris' and elsewhere and the sheer enjoyable inventiveness of the enterprise begins to dawn on you.
In reviewing the previous Thirty Pounds Of Bone album, I Cannot Sing You Here, But For Songs Of Where, I recall being of a mind to be at least kind about it as it was clearly well crafted and Johnny Lamb's definitely more interesting than your average Brit-winning singer/songwriter (I'll also wager that he's heard of Tom Petty) but not being that grabbed by an album and mustering only politeness when writing about it is likely not the sort of opinion that makes an artist get out of bed in the morning. Which is why this time around with The Taxidermist it's pleasing that Lamb has created a work which, for my money, is crammed full of as much emotion as the previous album but where the breadth of the musical elements now employed make it that much more accessible.
The Taxidermist is available from amazon.