[sic] Magazine

Liam Frost – We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain

‘Second Album Syndrome’

Finally, 2009 sees some evidence of second album syndrome being alive and well. Frankly, stunning sophomore efforts from bands such as The Horrors, The Maccabees and Wild Beasts seemed to have put the notoriously difficult return to the sword. Yet, sadly Mr Frost, real name Pickering, bucks this to-be-encouraged trend.

It’s never pleasant to do a number on someone, unless it’s The Stereophonics obviously. It’s even less pleasant to do it to a fellow Mancunian, especially one with a great debut. However, Frost’s singer-songwriting return, now without The Slowdown Family, simply just isn’t good enough, despite coming complete with his trademark guttural vowels, love of rhyme and familiar, clichéd turn of phrase.
Housing highlights such as the rousing ‘The Mourners Of St. Paul’s’, the easy-going debut, Show Me How The Spectres Dance, forgave the odd mistread. We Ain’t Got No Money contains too many of them however.

The untroublesome anonymity of ‘Sparks’ is unfortunately representative of half the album. The light lounge-jazz feel of ‘Younger Boys, Older Girls’ is best described as inadvisable. The love story hinted at in the Buckowski-checking album title appears to have blurred Frost’s better judgement.

The despicable finger-clicked percussion of album closer ‘Orchestra Of Love’ is wholly misplaced. However, the biggest letdown comes from ‘Skylark Avenue’, which a generous reviewer might liken with Arctic Monkeys as their most naive, and a harsh one with James Blunt’s grating sense of non-event.

We Ain’t Got No Money is luckily saved from embarrassment by the unquestionable highlight ‘Two Hearts’, which buzzes along optimistically despite chasing a “ghost across these black and white notes”. The upbeat Martha Wainwright collaboration, “Your Hand In Mine”, is also of note, providing welcome variety.
On the emotive piano balladry of ‘Leading Light And Luminaries’, referring to his music career, Frost sings “if this is to be the last time that I ever get to do this …” and, on this form, it may be cruelly premonitory.