In the spirit of its title, let's start with a grumble. Should you have indulged in all that's penned about Pennsylvanian Daughn Gibson thus far, prior to wrapping your ears around his brooding, country-tinged soundscapes, then you'd be forgiven for dismissing him as a cheap parody act. Why? Well, it's fixated with his life prior to last year's glum critical juggernaut All Hell, where he worked selling erotic literature to sheepish briefcase-bearers, eventually leaving to make a crust from behind the wheel of a truck. Before that, the story goes, his sky-scraping 6"5 frame was rooted behind a set of toms in clumsily-labelled "stoner-metal" band Pearls and Brass. Now, according to the cynics, he applies his novelty baritone - the sort you might get if you apply the 'Deeper Vocals' setting to your Garageband recording - on top of music that robs from dead legends and forgotten, dust-encrusted vinyl.

Alas, it is a travesty, for Gibson is one of the few swimming against the tide, snubbing straight-up pastiche in favour of a genuinely, off-kilter interpretation of the past. In truth, he deserves better and with sophomore Me Moan - the sound of a man building upon his sonically dark foundations - he proves that the rare dazzle of his 2012 debut was certainly no fluke.

First, 'The Sound Of Law' bridges the gap between the two, initially announcing itself with a Suicide-aping riff and a lip-curling Gibson who, in guttural drawl, decries his old man "a beast." It's a blueprint for the record, with a suitably doom-laden chorus that moves in like a black rain cloud over a vast and expansive wasteland. It's a formula repeated on 'Phantom Rider', which struts with a Depeche Mode-like sense of foreboding; the sort that is perhaps best perceived as an alternative ode to the open road, which revels in its lonely, disconcerting side rather than the often corny, wind-in-hair sentiments of sugary Americana.

Lyrically, the 32-year-old (real name Josh Martin) is still fixated with the sinister, but his storytelling is more bewitching and Cash-like this time around. "The state trooper's daughter" is at the centre of "a fight about who was next" during the dub-lite verses of 'The Pisgee Nest'; a rather harrowing tale about a cop's daughter who was repeatedly forced to sell her body by her boyfriend, brought to life by caterwauling lapsteel guitar. But it's when confronting this murky subject matter that he seems most comfortable; like a voyeur willingly spectating life's dark underbelly from touching distance.

Best though is the rather more light and breezy 'Won't You Climb' - which sees Gibson actually deliver an almost lounge-friendly interlude, equipped with sweeping strings and 70s cocktail bar pomp that wouldn't sound out of place on a Grover Washington Jr record. On paper, it could be his underdoing, but really it's toe-testing verification of the fact his musical identity has serious legs, should he ever further flirt with the idea of showing his sunnier side. This is taken further with closer 'Into the Sea', which like the entirety of Me Moan still moves in brilliantly eery fashion despite its added colour - a sure sign that his lofty build won't be seen hunched beside the fuel cap of a large goods vehicle any time soon.