The IV Thieves' last album, The Greatest White Liar was recorded under the moniker Nic Armstrong and the Thieves. Singer/guitarist Armstrong may have taken his name out of the spotlight but his talent continues to shine brightly on If We Can't Escape My Pretty.

Liar had a '50s bend and explored the sounds that influenced the great British Invasion bands – American sounds, like the blues and rockabilly. This record replaces Liar's sparseness with a very full modern and diverse sound that puts the band in a similar category as their British contemporaries Super Furry Animals.

Armstrong's voice reflects a sturdy confidence on the hypnotic Oasis-like rocker, “Higher.” “Mother's Dilemma” and “All the Time” could be nods to the Beatles; the former uses McCartney-sweet harmonies while the latter stings like Lennon at his orneriest.

“Have Pity” would have fit nicely on the last album thanks to a Bo Diddley beat; the Bowie-like arrangement of “Chase Me Off/Out” closes this very consistent offering.

Grade: A