Released just a year after their debut album, Hope St., thrust them into the middle of the booming folk-rock scene in the U.K., throwback rockers Kassidy return with a sophomore effort that finds them growing their sound into something a little bit grittier, and a whole lot bigger. Looking to defy people's expectations right out of the gate, One Man Army kicks off with "Kallisti" and "Get By," two rockers that find the beardy Scottish band adding a bit of rock & roll swagger to its sound thanks to some slinking guitar riffs and fuzzed-out bass. This kind of opening immediately lets you know that, even though only a year has passed, something has definitely changed. Though the album calms considerably after the rock-infused opening, the sound still feels altogether bigger, with the band adding more on the music end to back up its big vocal harmonies. With their big choruses and building grandeur, songs like "The Hunted" and "I Can't Fly" feel not only larger, but much more refined than the songs on the group's last album. While it would've been easy for Kassidy to just drop another album of vocal-heavy Americana worship, this kind of change shows a band that has grown comfortable enough with its niche to attempt to expand on it. Though these changes might not be enough to really win over the nu folk detractors, fans of their last album will be able to appreciate the evolution Kassidy are undertaking as they come into their own, not only as songwriters, but as a band.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney