Scintillating Stuff

An edgy world of film stars, seduction and the bitterness of glamour; 'This Gift' 2008's chiquest album, a pandora's box full of devastating delights. Working with Bernard Butler has evolved the group's sound from euphoric echoes of ceilidhs amidst dark dramas into something slicker and on the whole more gripping. From the crystalline guitars ringing out in 'Split Lips', the boisterous rhythm of 'Gilt Complex' to the corrosive cries of 'Iodine', This Gift is one to knock you dead.

The brooding bassline of 'The Nest' sits against the stark guitar snarls and howls vocals as another prickling tale is carved by Adele's brutal vocals, "You've seen what comes to those who put a picture in the nest"/"Once she had a dream of the son she'll never have". Elsewhere, the band move away from the glittering macabre, evoking the ghosts of trash rock with the swaggering, "Na na na" calls of 'Rebel With The Ghost' that back the pulsing rhythm and quivering percussion. The unnerving call and response between Adele and Scott is perhaps put to best effect in title track, 'This Gift' with its enigmatic lupine howls and harmonies that snap at each others' heels with vicious intent. The gasping vocals of, 'House In My Head' loom even more formidably, making this one of the stand out tracks. 'The Bell' glitters with intrigue and spits raging riffs, sultry licks and effervescent vocals imploring you to, "Hang on to yourself", something which is perhaps harder than you may thing surrounded my this mighty myriad of glowing music.

If you're looking for a little light relief, 'Chains' has a shimmying mix of handclaps and fizzy pop melody that quickly overflows and will have you on your feet. The two singles, 'Gilt Complex' and 'Darling' are obvious highlights and also display the diversity of the album with a sweet edge to the latter's pop vocal harmonies while the former opens the album, getting the listener fired up with its thundering rhythm and salacious guitar stabs.

Sons and Daughters have grown from Glasgow's prodigal offspring into a far more sophisticated and sleek band that oozes stylish decorum in their sparkling array of sounds. This is an album that doesn't rest from start until finish until it has entertained and transfixed you.