Like Portishead before them Seefeel have returned with an album of surprising velocity and power, yet whilst Portishead found new life from decade/s old influences in the shoegaze and krautrock brackets and channelled it all into the most vital work of their career Seefeel have almost caved in on themselves, forsaking for the most part the intricacies and ocean-deep layers that bridged shoegaze and electronica to foreshadow a post-rock sound that was very rarely bettered by successors.
What remains is certainly 'driving' but for the most part the album is firmly stuck on auto-pilot. Riding on a tempo that feels at least 30bpm to light for such pounding snare attacks, 'Rip-Run' and 'Dead Guitars' drag on far past the point of repetition as synths, samples and vocals float by listlessly. Every second feels like a slowed-down and faded-out outro to a song you wish you could rewind to find. Closer 'Sway' offers more of interest, at times sounding eerily close to Von-era Sigúr Rós, but even here each idea long outstays its welcome.
Perhaps inevitably for a band who sounded so far ahead of their time and, therefore, never came close to receiving the recognition they deserved for their earliest works this feels like an album that might have sounded a lot more relevant 15 years ago, whilst select tracks from their début ('plainsong', 'polyfusion' etc) still stand up well to this day and should immediately be investigated by fans of M83, Matryoshka, Emeralds and others who have melded together off-white noise and electro. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for this.