Orange Glass Underwater Underground

Moncton's pop underdogs return to form with an overall aesthetic that's less outright fuzzy than warmly hissy. Their songs are packed with enough novel tones (such as the fairly out of nowhere Martsch-y solo that tramps into "What a Surprise," as well as the dollop of "Rhodes as Casio" wheedling that follows) and subtle structural jolts (they snap into waltz time on "Brazil") to keep things interesting, yet they are still packed with the same high-strung wheezy yelps that either endear or annoy. Either way, though, you can't fault Ron for sticking to his own fairly inimitable vocal styling through thick and thin. Taken as a whole, Underwater Underground maintains the punchy jukebox brevity (and wonkily hi-fi production values) that made Interstellar Interstellar a keeper; like that album, though, one can feel compelled to cut through the well-intentioned meandering ("Eclipso" and the mandatory end of album slow burn epic "Escher") and head straight for the quirky sugar shots that stick to your teeth like so much starchy five-cent gum. A treat that similarly, upon caving in after all these years, reminds you why you can never quite kill those old fixes, but is just as likely to run out of flavour well before you want the taste to leave. (Brobdingnagian)