Sometimes the album absolutely drives, other times it's bogged down in its own cleverness. I'm not a big fan of the male vocals, which add nothing to the music (except making it sound "punkier"), but the female vocals in parts are nice. The Chinese Opera sounding melody on "Take Away These Early Grave Blues" is amazing, a sure highlight. I can't emphasize how much better this album would be without the distracting vocals which are just poorly poured over everything.
The lo-fi production grew on me as the record played out, and I love the violins and female vocals. The male vocals are a bit much at times (the beginning of "What We Loved Was Not Enough") but on the whole, they work for me. There are some fantastic songs here- the aforementioned "What We Loved Was Not Not Enough" and "Take Away These Early Grave Blues" being two highlights. "Little Ones Run" is excellent as well. I don't care much for "Austerity Blues" though- it feels stretched out- and it's the longest track here. On the whole, however, this is a very successful release. 4.2