Double Scotch

11 years after their only U.S. hit, the Proclaimers hit the road again.

Charlie Reid is pretty sure he knows where the burst of inspiration came from that drives Born Innocent, the new album by the Proclaimers, the folk-rock band he leads with his twin brother, Craig. "Things have been stored up for a while," he laughs.

The seven-year break between albums that led to 2001's Persevere was filled with "lots of personal stuff," Reid says. Their father died, kids were born, and the Reids -- weary from years spent on the road -- just needed time to exhale. "It just wouldn't have been appropriate to put out a record."

So out popped Born Innocent, an album recorded live in the studio, which rolls past the pair's usual acoustic-guitar setup, plugs in with a full band, and charges like no other Proclaimers disc before it. "It just sort of evolved out of rocking with a bunch of musicians on tour," Reid says. "It's more of a band thing now. When we started, we were just an acoustic duo. It never really felt like a band before. It just feels right now."

The twins were born and raised in Scotland. Their thick brogues made for a knowing debut -- "Throw the R Away," a reference to their local dialect, was the introductory track on the first Proclaimers album, This Is the Story. Their sometimes-impenetrable vernacular also helped steer "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" to No. 3 on the charts in 1993 -- five years after its release on their second album, Sunshine on Leith -- when it was included in the Johnny Depp flick Benny & Joon.

Work on the next album was delayed, and by the time the Reids emerged from the studio in 1994 with Hit the Highway, one of them was divorced and both were feeling pressure. Thankfully, things never entered Kinksian territory, with the brothers smashing guitars over each other's heads. "We've had conflicts," Reid admits. "But we've never had big differences over where we want to take things. We're not particularly competitive with one another. It's always been us against the world."