Sound — 8
Recorded in part on an industrial site the clattering sound of machines can be heard throughout while the desolation of their farm "beak house" studios is clearly an inspiration to the soundscapes throughout. From the reverb slow burn of "The Same Mistakes", the sonic youth guitars of schizophrenic synths of "Promises Promises" this album is massively difficult to pigeon hole. The idea of repetitive loops with guitars weaving in carries on through "New Toys" (inspired by a new synth they bought and a stand out live track from the touring of their previous alum)and "Talking To A Brick Wall". The industrial love song of "Into My Arms" leads into the bands only real "pop" song in the form of "Blind Pilots" and as quickly as its come and gone AIM provided a hypnotic synth loop (used as their tour entrance music at the time)and shout along chorus. The echoes and bowed guitars of the introspective "Music Box" provides an album stand out while stalker-esque album closer "Written Apology" starts with a gentle acoustic guitar, moves into heavy riffs and ends with the type of electronic techno Aphex Twin would be proud of. In some ways so diverse due to the amount of instrument swapping going on in the studio but a real credit to band on top of they're experimentation.
Lyrics — 7
Although the lyrics are mostly the work of guitarist Dan Fisher both Dan and multi instrumentalist Tom Bellamy provide main vocals along side singer Ben Gautry making this a varied album where individual personalities come through in the lyrics and vocals delivered by each. The Lyrics are generally pretty introvert with the best examples of these being "Talking To A Brick Wall" and "Music Box". Ben had been compared to Liam Gallagher at the start of bands career, something I don't think does his aggressive nasal tone justice.
Overall Impression — 9
I reviewed this because it is one of my favourite albums ever. Really well balanced and not over done in its experimentation. Far better than the scene they were pushed in to and a better testament to a great band than the story that follows (Record company buyout and pressure to make straightforward album, band split up following lukewarm third album). Overshadowed as a "proto-Kasabian" (early touring mates who lost the synths and went onto success) this is a really special band and a further look into other albums an b-sides only help to complete the picture of such talent. I reviewed this for anyone who it had passed by or didn't reach as far as how they would hear about music. They will forever be a cult concern, something to be proud of.