By all accounts sold out at source at Static Caravan, this particular release has been a while in the production, much love, care and attention has been garnered upon it, it be the latest from folk collective Stick in the Wheel who headed up by Nicola Kearney and Ian Carter have thus far have been greeted and feted as a upcoming keynote act to keep eyes and ears peeled for. Not your pretty happy clappy dancing around the maypole folk pop, Stick in the Wheel are more likely to concentrate their thoughts on the more morbid and forgotten ill themed aspects of such arcane rituals, neither will you find follies to engage in moments of carefree lazing under the tree shade daisy chain making. Rather more their brand of folk is rooted in the traditionalist art of storytelling, much like your Fairport’s, Watersons’ or your Mellow Candle’s before them their headspace is closely attuned to the very soil, the very foundations and the very toil of nature’s labours which before you all start misreading for grim and dour is instead forthright, direct and without fear of pulling punches in their socio political lyricism. As ever strictly limited to just 300 copies, these 7’s come housed in white foil embossed recycled card sleeves, the band have even pressed up (becoming a now trademark event) 15 special edition sets featuring a medieval lead token via their band camp page. As to the actual release – two tracks feature within – ‘Common Ground’ mourns the encroachment and the slow decline of common land in the face of commercial sprawl. Upon a bedding of hypnotically looping rustics, Kearney bitterly scowls in disbelieving frustration her clarion call to the sleeping masses to the kind of sonic lost tongue that admirers of both Lupen Crook and New Model Army might do well to tune into. Over on the flip ‘Hasp’ tells the tale of a working horse from its perspective, bleak and agonising, between the Fahey punctuations, the Gaelic flurries and the slowly unravelled minimalist opines a sense of thankless servitude and dispiritingly mournful monotony without end. Brutally essential and best filed alongside your treasured Rails releases.