The unstoppable, wide-eyed, rump-shaking force of Skinny Lister continues apace with their third studio album The Devil, The Heart & The Fight out September 2016 through Xtra Mile Recordings. With lead single "Wanted" – a fiery Elvis-gone-folk roar of an opener that sees frontman Dan Heptinstall saluting London, New York and Cairo in a song "about looking for life in the cities we'd visit," The Devil, The Heart & The Fight comes out fists first.
If their folk debut album (Forge & Flagon, 2012) celebrated the sticks and their punkier second (Down On Deptford Broadway, 2015) blinked in the bright lights of London; their rocked-up third sees them go global. Pieced together while on the road, and recorded over five weeks in Newcastle Under Lyme's Silk Mill Studio in May 2016 with producer Tristan Ivemy (Frank Turner, The Holloways), it is Skinny Lister's most far-reaching, exciting and accomplished album yet. It's a full-on rock record that splashes even more punk vigor and '80s pop elements across their fervent folk canvas, taking in hints of Adam Ant and The Clash. It also brings the folk storytelling tradition bang up to date with its brutally honest and close-to-the-knuckle lyrics of real-life stories ("Geordie Lad," "Charlie") and on-the-road mayhem (the Pogue-ish "Hamburg Drunk").
A mature, vibrant and varied record, it mingles classic Skinny folk romances ("Grace," "Reunion") with epic rock takes on rafter-rattling shanties ("Beat It From The Chest") and hearty Dexys-style tributes to the fans they meet on the road ("Fair Winds & Following Seas"), plus a hitherto unseen darker side. Take the deceptively upbeat "Injuries," Dan's ode on the bruising nature of life, or "Devil In Me," in which Lorna comes on like a particularly melodic Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. The Devil, The Heart & The Fight is like Skinny's previous albums gone backpacking; expanding its horizons, full of adventure, discovering itself and doing things it regrets in the morning. Have heart, ye devils, join the fight.