Nein Luxury

The Nein have come a long way since their 2005 debut, Wrath of Circuits. A passable art punk offering, it found the group tentatively feeling their way around their songs and experimenting with traditional rock song structure. Chief amongst their distinguishing features was the presence of tape manipulator Dale Flattum, who added samples and loops to their angular sound. Two years on and one EP later, the Nein are still very much in experimental mode, yet their approach has become much more refined and, as a result, all the more alluring. Flattum, who seemed to be employing a somewhat haphazard cut and paste approach to his manipulations on the debut, is now integrated into the sound much more prominently and cohesively. The band have expanded their sonic palette considerably, relying less on the confrontational electric guitar of old. Instead, they forge ahead with a simultaneously spacey and claustrophobic bed of beats, bleeps and synths whose nuances take repeated listens to fully digest. Happily, there are just enough chunky chord progressions and choruses ("Get Up,” "Burn Construction”) to sink one’s teeth into. Luxury could use a little more focus and some pruning, but this does not eclipse the elegant experimentation on display. (Sonic Unyon)