Cherry Red 2015
Roots to branches and reveries to nightmares: British group’s escapism feeds into entropy to find a method in the madness.
There’s an unstable order in the shape sitting on the cover of this album, and three records down the line, the ensemble behind it set about the quest of ordering global chaos with a song. Time and place may shift here rather unpredictably, as the peaceful “Kosovo” uncovers the quintet’s political stripe while “Heart Shaped Bruises” tosses internal affairs into riff-rippled heavy water, with electric buzz running throughout the pieces’ seasonal flow. Once jazzy elegance of “Cherry Winters” has unfolded an organ-caressed painful sweetness, “Autumn Haze” rock ‘n’ rolls hard enough to blow the bliss to smithereens and let it loose, before “Jaded Summer Long” gets rough as if to show, in less than two minutes, the band’s ability to give it all a punk abandon.
Often tied in a tight knot, Dan Jones’ guitars and Steve Barratt’s keyboards may rage in “Forever Not Forever“ that adheres to the prog metal idiom before turning to romantic transparency, yet “Loose It Off” streams its lyricism in a ballad way only to switch to sharp funk and back again. The same deceptive approach marks opener “Yesterday’s Tomorrow” as its power chords resolve in a piano-driven pop charge whose sunny disposition is underscored with a trumpet lick, whereas “The Ocean” brings about the pleasant tiredness which waits for us at dusk. Still, it’s at the finale that Chris Buckler’s voice leads the band into a belligerent chorus of “Zero To Type One” where their silvery blade cuts the fade away. Occasional boring moment aside, an order is restored here.