Having toured with such contemporaries as REM, Midlake and Joan As Police Woman in recent years Viarosa are back with their second album, 'Send For The Sea'. The six-piece from little old London is fronted by Richard Neuberg, who draws on inspiration from the likes of Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and Nick Drake to create a 'noir opera' that would play out nicely in one of those old American folk bars that you'd only want to be passing through for fear of the creepy locals.Opener 'Tourniquet' is a pleasant acoustic strum along with a mix of sweeping guitars and a moody viola. The last time I heard the word tourniquet was back in the britpop days when not so nearly men 'Headswim' (anyone remember them?) had a stab at success, so I confess I had to look the word up in the dictionary and found it to mean 'a constricting or compressing device' so the lyric "we've paid the price for a tourniquet" has a whole host of connotations.'Righteous Path' is a slow burning ball of passion where Neuberg builds up to a fierce growl like an intense preacher, urging us to "hear the call of the righteous path", though next track 'The Old Walls' starts off with a Travis-like riff and to be honest I couldn't really get past that. Don't worry though because it is the second half the album that shines brightest. Album highlight 'Ode to Sunlight' is quite minimalist but is all the more haunting for it, 'Harness' bubbles away with an underlying venom, 'The Last Resolve' is a swaying drunken sing-along that would be the climax in that bar I mentioned earlier and closer 'The Sea' is a wonderfully understated finish to proceedings.If I were on horseback riding through the wilderness of the great American plains, 'Send for the Sea' would be up there with the albums accompanying me on my mp3 player of choice. But as I won't be doing that anytime soon, I'll have to let the album take me there instead from my humble abode in Ipswich, and thankfully, to a certain extent I think it does.73%Viarosa on MySpace