Folk-rock, particularly folk punk rock, can be a bit of hard sell. As a genre it conjures up images of crusty hippy types in cargo pants being tiresomely political. The Story Is…, the fourth album from cult folk-rock band Skinny Lister, threatens to head into the heart of that territory with the Ska-infused opener Second Amendment, which takes an askance look at the American attitude to gun control.
Thankfully it then serves into much more unexpectedly quotidian areas; any album featuring a love song with the chorus ‘I put unleaded in my diesel vehicle’ is some kind of work of genius. Other intriguing subjects include being wary about sinister neighbours (Artist Arsonist) or being so infatuated with someone you can’t concentrate (the fantastically new-wave My Distraction).
And when they manage to combine these two instincts, such as on the ethereal Stop and Breathe, the outcome is quite captivating.
This review first appeared in the Belfast Telegraph