The Winter That Was starts with an alluring synth ladened intro that completely takes you by surprise. The reason why it’s so shocking is made clear when you hear the second track, as the avant-garde starter that sets up all assumptions of the album is toppled by the classic rock set-up of ‘Carmelite’. There are synths somewhere in there, but after the intro they sound like a mere whisper.

Fourth track ‘Aspen’ follows the second tracks structure, and sounds like it came straight from the Boss’s bag of many heart-felt Jersey ditties. If that wasn’t enough to mess with your head, The Hazy Janes go all country on us by the time it gets to the middle of the album.

Variety is certainly the spice of life, but sometimes I wonder if these guys are taking on too many genres at once. With ‘You Only Stand To Lose If I Stay’, The Hazey Janes nail it right on the head by creating a melodic and angelic arrangement, and when the strings kick in it establishes itself as something truly special yet haunting. However, when ‘The Darkness Ends’ comes around it can seem a bit too much due to its undertones of country and western (the first 10 seconds makes you feel like you’re at a hoedown). But the subtlety of ‘Paperhearts’ stops these thoughts in their track, and puts the record back on steady ground.

The album finishes off with kind of a downer, as ‘Everything Starts Again’ seems a bit mono-tone in the sense that it doesn’t go anywhere or make you feel anything (especially compared with the previous stripped down songs). One of the quieter tunes would have wrapped the album up nicely; it seems more of a filler rather than a finale. But, this is not enough to throw the record off the rails, as The Hazey Janes have produced a sublime piece of work full of diversity and feeling; something that a lot of musicians forget to add these days. Hazy one or two of the tunes may be, but it’s not enough to cloud your senses.