For a band that only had a cult following in the first place, the decision to steer their earthy post-punk into a country direction could have been a career killer for The Nightingales. In actual fact, it probably was as 'In The Good Old Country Way' proved to be the last album from Robert Lloyd and co. but with the benefit of twenty years' hindsight it sounds like an inspired move as well as a brave one. The key component is Maria Smith whose violin parts are pushed to the forefront of many of the tracks and she provides the perfect foil to Lloyd's deliberately off-key vocals; constructing a doomy yet riveting manifesto. Granted, 'Down In The Dumps' sounds alarmingly like Adam And The Ants teaming up with Dexys Midnight Runners but most of it stands on its own two feet. Shorter songs like the funereal 'Coincidence' and the drunken melancholy of 'Leave It Out' are well matched by the lengthy key tracks 'Comfort And Joy' and 'How To Age'. Without relinquishing any of Lloyd's acerbic wit and aggression, The Nightingales are captured here in their most disciplined and creative form.