After three albums of stark-naked sound, minimalist/miserablist
Scottish duo Arab Strap try on different colors on The Red
Thread. While previous records have consisted almost entirely of
a simple guitar/vocals/drum-machine arrangement, this fourth
longplayer finds different sonic deployments. Opener "Amor Veneris"
is a quiet guitar/piano ballad; first single "Love Detective" is a
near-funky affair, with layers of upbeat bass, piano and guitar;
"Last Orders" is powered by a really loud, heavily distorted drum
loop; "Scenery" and "Haunt Me" are both draped in strings, sounding
in the latter song like a distant, ghosted sample. All the while, of
course, vocalist Aidan Moffat spreads his lyrical woe across the
record in that trademark flatly-spoken give-a-fuck/fuck-you voice,
his thick throat offering observations on the jealousies and
insecurities found within even the most sexually active relationship.