On Sleep and Release
combines abrasive guitars, feedback, and distorted vocals into rock that, in its own way, is as crunchy and dynamic as Weezer
, though as decidedly outsider as Mogwai
. "Indiscretion #243" is a beautiful way to start an album: a mash of assaulting guitars, moaning keys, a strange hymnal chorus, and enough exploding melodicism to render their debut meek by comparison. From there, the band soars with Sigur Rós
grandeur-gone-folk-rock (the string-laden "Black Path"), subtle electro-psychedelia (the glitchy and somber "A Simple Process of Elimination"), and slinky post-rock that would find a kindred spirit in the 90 Day Men
("No Really, Everything's Fine"). What sets these Scots apart, though, from their massive contemporaries (like Godspeed You Black Emperor!
) is their ability to unleash simple and sunny pop hooks, and then pile layers on top of them, like on "Wood." Of course as soon as the song catches your attention with these grooves, the band totally destroys them, clearing the table in one fell swoop of epic heavy metal. Then they come back to the pop. It's brilliant and, in a word, riveting.