On a dark opening, Everything Everything’s “Night Of The Long Knives” sizzles with electronic life, as the undertones of bass growl underneath it all. After cries into the night from the vocal section, the intense synth and drum-driven chorus takes the song into a sky-high chorus that redeems the underwhelming verses. “Can’t Do” kicks out with their vicious bass-driven take on 80s synth-pop. The harmony driven choruses are catchy but in the overall production something just feels missing.
With shrieking synth roars, “Desire” thumps out before one of the strongest rhythmic pushes of the record. The frantic dives of each chorus add an electric excitement as their chants beg for shouts at live shows. On a more separated production that recalls tones of Imagine Dragons, “Big Game” races through its progressions with a tone of dystopia. While the song really holds out on its releases, the joy of the final, distorted guitar rips has such a euphoric tone to its shreds that it eases a lot of the wait.
Taking a jazz-infused push with tones of club electronics, “Good Shot Good Soldier” shuffles along without trying to dig hooks in. A little too light-handed in its delivery it doesn’t move people as a dance track or explode enough as a party track. Mashing up Alt-J and Royal Blood, “Run The Numbers” cuts out all the waiting and makes a clash worth hearing. While the stark contrast between the almost ambient verses and heavy guitars can be shocking and feel too separated, the dynamic drop they create together builds a sense of excitement that’s all too fun.
Avoiding too much repetition, “Put Me Together” takes the soft chorus approach as the band shifts from shoegaze verses to denser refrains. Exploring their sonic pallet wholeheartedly in every bridge, they let the synths and drums go wild, creating a gripping energy that was missing from the record. Taking clever notes from artists like Major Lazer in their mix of beats and quirky instrumentation, “A Fever Dream” has a weird EDM pop drive to its sound that’s all too infectious. Even when the lyrics slip out of their catchier moments, the drive is too addictive to give up.
“Ivory Tower” grinds with an anger and strange military march, creating a surprising amount of heft from their mix of techniques. The echoing vocals and wails from the vocal section make the track come together in an impassioned tumble that the riffs only elevate in the climactic finale. Getting ambient and weird on “New Deep” the band bring listeners out of the water for a sonic journey. Shooting into heavenly tones in the track’s second half, they leave a solemn and pensive note for listeners. With self-destructive desires, “White Whale” closes the album on a burn of screaming guitars and theatrical drumming. After its loud and proud middle section however, it does feel like track putters out.
Words by Owen Maxwell