Back in 2004, Texan outfit Hearts Fail delivered their own brand of gothic, melodic rock via 'The Empty Promise' album. Although a very respectable effort, it was a record which could have emerged from the late 1980s. 'Medallion' - its four-track follow up - still sticks to a similar template but there's evidence they've probably listened to Interpol or Protokoll in the meantime. Only the dark psychedelia of 'Poison' feels ponderous but even then it explodes into a powerful chorus after three minutes of waiting. However painful and negative songs titled 'Vivisect' and 'Dissuade' may appear, there's an admirable positivity on show and by the time final track 'Daedalus' arrives they've mastered a neat line between melancholy and melody. It's still hard to imagine Hearts Fail playing stadiums at this time but they have shown a progression which sees them pull away from the constraints of one particular genre.