A brilliant return from a band nothing short of the same.
With keys prevalent across a third of the record, their established alternative rock sound has morphed towards alt-country, reflecting a recording process which saw the band decamp to Texas to work with producer John Congleton (Modest Mouse, Okkervil River). But they take this foundation and stretch it in a variety of directions. The Kids Will Get The Money balances a sludgy bass undercurrent with a range of beautiful layers above; The Fireball At The End Of Everything gets even swampier, recalling the lucid sounds of Radiohead's There, There; Eureka, meanwhile, is another striking late addition, with the music holding somewhat of a period feel that runs well with the title. The band have emptied a huge number of ideas onto this record, yet they've come away with a work that's cohesive and neat.
And if you can get your hands on a copy, pick up the two-disc special edition – the acoustic takes of Active Child's Hanging On and World Party's Ship Of Fools go a long way towards usurping the originals. A brilliant return from a band nothing short of the same.