It's been a dog's age since we last heard from country-punk posse Cuff the Duke. In the meantime, they've tightened their songwriting, romanced a thrift-store piano and moved beyond the Hank Williams pastiche that served as the backbone of their manic rock 'n' twang assault. Their second album is an explosion of saloon ivory-tinkling and proggy art pop, with a few straight-up hoedowns thrown in. The downside is that Wayne Petti's wobbly vocals sound thin outside the context of barn-burnin' country music, but the addition of sweet harmonies on The Ballad Of Poor John Henry helps you overlook that. Though they're sonically all over the place, CTD manage to pull off most of their genre-jumpin' experiments. You've gotta love a band that busts out an Elton John-style soft-rocker about the effeminate hetero indie boy's gay/not-gay conundrum, swings haphazardly through cantering surf-country about evil corporations and caps it off with a power ballad.