If you've ever listened to a Bad Religion album and come away convinced that the punk rock legends' sound is speeded-up folk music, well, you can afford yourself a little smugness when you hear frontman Greg Graffin's solo album.

Graffin's childhood years were spent listening to American traditional music and he's channelled these sounds and emotions for his first solo album - 26 years into his career.

Backed by members of the Weatherkans and featuring former Be Good Tanyas singer Jolie Holland, Graffin splits 'Cold as the Clay' between original songs and 19th and early 20th Century standards. The result is an album that play's like a low-key and downbeat companion to Springsteen's 'The Seeger Sessions'.

Solid rather than outstanding, 'Cold as the Clay' is still so convincing that it seems highly unlikely that Graffin won't follow it up. And, while he's at it, perhaps he can also persuade his bandmates to switch off the amps for the acoustic album that they really should make.

Harry Guerin