Luke Haines, former frontman for cultish slow-burners The Auteurs, has found a second life with his new outfit, Black Box Recorder. Their debut record, "England Made Me," caused a mild industry grimace last year, mainly for the nihilism of its key single, "Child Psycho-logy" ("kill yourself or get over it" was the chipper chorus). Now for "The Facts of Life," Haines and Co. craft an even more sinister beauty, focusing their collective furrowed brow on British indifference and pedestrian society.
"The English Motorway" and "The Art of Driving" deadpan their transportation metaphors, effectively dripping the listlessness of just riding along. Altogether more delicious is the Brit-hit title track that oozes with a cocktail charm only challenged by its obvious hangover. "The Facts of Life" is a winning, if miserable, portrait of what you think when there's nothing left to think about.