Paul Armfield’ influences hang heavy over this album, the Tindersticks and Nick Cave being glaringly obvious reference points.
The Four Good Reasons sound like the Bad Seeds if they cut their teeth playing in hotel lobby bars rather than in The Birthday Party and EinstÃ¼rzende Neubauten. This is not a bad thing, the bar of some expensive yet lonely hotel may be the best environs in which to see Armfield and his band of incurable melcholiacs.
On the best tracks here the misery works well. “Shade’ manages to capture some of Scott Walker’ grand three-in-the-morning forlornness. “Who Hurts the Most’s and “Song of Goodbye’ shimmer with a touch of rural folksiness that probably stems from the time guitarist Adam Kirk spent playing with Joan Baez and Kate Rusby. Other tracks like “Tender Hearts’ wallow so much in their own theatrical misery that they threaten to drown.
Armfield and his Four Good Reasons never fully transcend their influences on this record. Still, if you are in the right mood, it will provide some enjoyable wine soaked listening.