LORD CUT-GLASS Lord Cut-Glass * * * * Chemikal Underground Chem118CD, £ 10.76
Alun Woodward took five years figuring out his next step after The Delgados, and this wonderfully wicked record suggests it has been worth every second.
"I'm hunting for things that I love, Fighting to make them a treasure for us," he sings on the wonky waltz Toot Toot, and that sums up the musical approach.
Skewed nursery rhymes, rich but punchy instrumentation and deliciously twisted lyrics combine to make Lord Cut-Glass a quirky treasure. The opening Even Jesus Couldn't Love You is every bit as vicious as the title suggests: "Did your pony not love you, reject you and buck you?" he maliciously inquires.
Look After Your Wife nearly gets tongue-tied in cheek but has such a jaunty melody it would win over the cynic in you.
Two songs are central to this creative maelstrom. Monster Face, has sinister moody brass and squelchy kettle drums, punching out well-chosen words of warning. Off the back of that comes the sumptuous You Know, with a killer chorus that will ring round your head all day and a passionate acoustic guitar shuffle.
After collaborating with a number of his cultural contemporaries, Woodward has found his own very Scottish voice and given it a setting that demands international attention. Unconventional yet strangely compromising, one of the year's best.