For a band who supposedly have no interest in self-promotion, Staines quartet Hard-Fi have made quite a kerfuffle about their second album's lack of cover art (which is err.. 'No Cover Art' in very big letters). 'A White Album for the digital culture!' one design buff raved; 'A load of b*****ks', said most other people. Despite their lack of marketing savvy, however, the West Londoners knew how to tap into the masses, and emerged on a wave of loud, loutish and downright ludicrous ladrock in 2003 with their debut offering 'Stars of CCTV'. While almost every track on that album could have (and probably did) soundtrack a goal-scoring montage on Soccer AM, it will embitter disparagers to admit that Once Upon A Time In the West is a vast improvement, where an improvement of any sort seemed inconceivable. To a large extent, Hard-Fi have foregone the 'hard-hitting rock anthem' route, and opened themselves up to a moderately, if not entirely different sound. Watch Me Fall Apart is an eerie, buzzing number; Can't Get Along (Without You) recalls McAlmont and Butler, or the slick '80s rock of Simple Minds, while the synth-riddled We Need Love emits a certain Dr. Who vibe that sounds distinctly un-Hard-Fi-like – a fact compounded by Richard Archer's constant Bernard Sumner impressions. There's still plenty of accessible chart fodder here, though; Television's street-party Clash-rock, single Suburban Knights and Little Angel all contain enough streetwise swagger to keep those aforementioned masses content. At one point the most irritating band in Britain, Hard-Fi have done themselves a favour by this deflection in direction; let's hope they pursue it further.