Given the number of false starts and changes of directions they've had, it's something of a miracle that Glen Hansard's band are still around at all - let alone that they're making new albums as good as this one. While For The Birds is firmly rooted in the American folk tradition, it also has elements of Pixies-style rock that lends a welcome musical muscle to Hansard's wistful, melancholy compositions. The lo-fi ambience won't be to everyone's taste but even at their most laboured there's a visceral quality to the Frames' music that demands the listener's respect. It would be a shame if they remained hometown heroes all their lives; the rest of the world deserves to hear this too.