For all the emphasis on instrumental pieces on their recent 'Prefix EP', The Great Depression's third album features vocals on every track. What 'Prefix' did indicate, though, is a move towards a new atmospheric rock direction. Is it also the first record where the duo, rather than sounding like a band with recognisable influences, now sound like they could be dictating the influence themselves. Certainly, anyone looking out for the future of melancholic rock would be strongly advised to devote forty minutes of their time to 'Preaching To The Fire'.
'The Telekinetic' sets the tone for their expansive, multi-layered rock. Those layers take in piano, warm ambient washes, haunting vocals and some gothic guitar patterns. It's a track full of huge emotion which Todd Casper and Thomas Cranley manage to convey throughout this superb record. 'Quiet Out There' is more soulful and takes in elements of prog-rock/jazz but definitely of the non-noodling variety. Building on from that, 'Make Way For Nostalgia' is the kind of space-filled post-rock which fellow Fire Records labelmates Bark Psychosis paved the way for in the mid-90s whilst towering centrepiece 'Lux' sees the vocals flit between a conciliatory whisper and desperate wailing; meanwhile some highly inventive electronica and rustic guitars offer so many possibilities that it's like listening to two great songs in one. On the other hand, Casper and Cranley know when to keep it simple; the pastoral, plaintive 'Somewhere Over The Counterculture' and the beautiful, fragrant finale that is the title track. Elegantly constructed from first to last, this is a strong contender for album of the year already.