Just over a year after the success of Fossils and Other Phantoms, Peggy Sue have returned with a wholly different record, with Acrobats representing the somewhat unexpected electric progression of a band who are at the top of their game. Whilst retaining the core ingredients of their critically acclaimed debut and recycling the brooding, discordant harmonies that sound so implausibly perfect, Peggy Sue have thrown their acoustic guitars to the winds, and though maintaining the darkness of their maiden album, Acrobats is a heavier, slow burning album that seeks to fight against the worn out nu-folk cliché that threatened to satirise the band.

'Cut My Teeth', a six minute epic that twists and shouts its way through the familiar lyrical matter of lust and loss, provides the perfect opening to the album, acting as it does as a natural step from the first record to the second, prophesying the aural development whilst delivering the glorious harmonies which have become a trademark. The joy of the record lies in the vocal chemistry of Rosa and Katy, whilst Olly Joyce's increasingly apocalyptic drumming sustains a terrifying urgency which underwrites the entirety of the album. Whilst there are incredibly high points to the record, in the delicate narration of 'Parking Meter Blues' and Slow Club disparity of 'Boxes', there are unfortunate failings in this new sound, as 'All We'll Keep' illustrates the close influence of Sky Larkin without delivering the charm and freshness that informs the popularity of their former tour partners. This is a weak link that sadly serves to emphasise the fluctuating mood of Acrobats, rather than proving an exception on an otherwise standout collection of songs. This is perhaps the slight issue that I personally have with the album; it doesn't necessarily come across as an organic, expansive sound but rather a vague pastiche of some incredibly original songs, like 'D.U.M.B.O.', and the faltering babysteps of works such as 'Shadows'.

Acrobats is a perfectly good record, which further cements Peggy Sue as an important act in our progressively homogenised music scene, fighting bravely against a recent influx of mediocrity, but lacks the certain consistency that made their debut album such a success. This is a very listenable album, but perhaps lacks the nuance of Fossils and Other Phantoms...