DAVEY CROCKETT, KING OF the Wild Frontier. Note those words: wild and frontier. Here, surely, is a band who are exploring the furthest reaches of pop's vast continent, and doing it with a fearless spirit. Is that demanding too much of The Crocketts, a bunch of skinny ex-students from Aberystwyth? Well, their singer's called Davey, so they're asking for it really.
And, hell, the truth isn't that bad, although much of this debut LP finds The Crocketts not so much infused with the pioneering spirit as cavorting in the wilderness, attempting to summon the ghost of The Waterboys. Anybody who tries to marry those most ill-matched of styles, punk and folk, is pushing their luck. Occasionally someone gets it right (The Pogues) but more often it's a recipe for disaster (Levellers).
Thankfully, The Crocketts avoid earnest old-world spirituality and feckless odes to drink. They prefer to rage hard and curdle folk melodies with Davey's splendidly Americanised primal howl and an intriguing array of influences that ranges from the Pixies to Violent Femmes on more countrified tracks like 'Flower Girl' and 'Loved Ya Once'. The lapses into Mike Scott-style soul-searching are rare enough to be forgivable and the belligerent invective of 'Strong Guy' helps wipe such tedious tenderness from the memory; the frontiers may be long gone, but The Crocketts are set to have a wild old time regardless.