Curl Up And Die The One Above All, The End Of All That Is

After a noticeably drawn out disappearance following the release of their acclaimed debut, Unfortunately We’re Not Robots, Curl Up and Die return at long last, and will no doubt leave their fan base scratching their heads in confusion. Almost completely abandoning the groovy, breakdown-laden Converge worship of their previous work, this sophomore effort moves along at a strangely lethargic pace, referencing everyone from Fugazi to Isis along the way. The occasional spurt of high-speed, old school goodness keeps things from getting too underwhelming, although the group’s apparent unwillingness to include any of those more mosh-oriented breaks of their past will frustrate many. The lyrical approach is much improved, with a lot of the subject matter concerning vocalist Mike Minnick’s constant frustration with the intricacies and hardships of living. Those expecting a simple rehashing of their previous work shouldn’t bother, as this peculiar offering will leave many sticklers for stagnancy planted squarely on the fence. However, upon repeated listens, Curl Up and Die’s genuine refusal to adhere to even the most financially promising trend will impress just as much as it will confound. (Revelation)