Departing from the dark acoustic folk of its debut, Peggy Sue reveals a harder edge on its second release. The opener, “Cut My Teeth,” signals this new direction with squalling electric guitar riffs and an intensity that carries through to the rest of the album. Featuring multi-instrumentalists and singers Rosa Slade and Katy Young and drummer Olly Joyce, this British trio creates heavy atmosphere on Acrobats under the guidance of John Parish, PJ Harvey’s producer. With songs ranging from noisy and wiry to murky and dense, the group elicits a visceral reaction that's often unsettling, yet punctuated with moments of quiet beauty. Even when the guitars crunch and the rhythms get sludgy, Slade and Young’s remarkable intertwining harmonies keep the songs from bogging down. They mesh especially well on the vocal-driven “Parking Meter Blues” (accompanied only by light percussion and glockenspiel) and the relatively sunny “Boxes.” Joyce’s dynamic and nuanced timekeeping deserves special mention, as his drumming is critical in getting across the album’s menacing mood.