Heavy lid lifted and closed by Welsh power trio with a pessimistic bent and a hopeful heart.
Perhaps, it’s the “difficult third album” curse or our world is so fucked up but, ten years into their existence, this Cardiff group adopted a gloomy outlook on what’s going on around us. “Hopeless Situation” that beats belligerently in the heart of the band’s latest record sums it up but the ominous thunder rolls on from opener “Below The Belt” down the line which is perforated with Darran Charles’ clipped riffs and vocals that seem to rub against it. Vertigo set in, depression is chased away with chorus harmonies, although sharp lyrics can’t justify the moments when melodies get stuck to a single spot before running further.
Still, there’s a perpetual movement in the cry for help of “Ruin” – propelled with Dan Nelson’s bass and Steve Roberts’ drums and shards of piano – while the brisk “Exit Stage Right” lets some synth-colored light in to suggest a way out exists after all. The abandon of “All That Remains” confirms it, the ballad’s acoustic lace feeling like ties to bind one’s will and lift one’s soul, yet “One Percent” sweetens the “eat the rich” sentiment whose molten groove is given a multi-layered filigree solo. No such softness for “Lack Of Scrutiny” where bottom end is so weighty it informs the album’s finale with an anthemic air. Hope manifested, the curse vanishes, so maybe this world, as fucked up as it is, has a future at the end of the day.