Nicky English's gruff delivery sounds like it's been stewing at the bottom of a whiskey bottle for some time. On his debut album, the singer-songwriter's ragged barroom swagger takes on everything from rockabilly to prickly folk-punk and garage-pop. Together they make for a casual back-porch intimacy, like longtime friends slowly getting lit and swapping war stories. Women figure in too, but most of English's songs are driven by cranky restlessness and brewing frustration. The second half of this 10-track album flags a little (except for the vibrant "They Came"), but Full English is an eclectic debut that offers great promise and plenty of entertainment. — Chris Parker
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