Shoe gaze works off a nostalgia half the time and drugs the other. For the new bands trying to pick up the torch , it is easy to hide behind effects, but song writing is another story These guys twist the formula to make this an exception to the rule. . "Alone" has the wobbling drunken guitar sound My Bloody Valentine made famous. The drums are going a more punk pace. The vocals are following the drums , but are not as aggressive or angry as punk. These components begin to create formula that moves these songs. The vocals to "Esoteric" are not as repetitive and lyrically it is more interesting. "Deserve" has a little darker tone. The mood is more somber despite the uptempo pulse. There is a really Cure like bass line in one section. They never get tense enough to be post punk, but fans of that genre will find enough similar elements to embrace this. The drive of "Third Time" reminds me more of a band like Hum. The vocals are in a higher reedy tenor.
"Rotting Out " is another display of their catchy song writing skills. The bass is more dominant here. The guitar comes out from behind the effects to play a more straight forward role ion the sonic of the song without taking away from their established sound. It reminds me of some of the indie rock bands that were on the periphery of the early emo scene, which along with post-rock bands are what kept the torch for shoe gaze going. While the vocals follow the kind of phrasing and melodies commonly found in shoe gaze, the delivery if different so it help them stand out from the pack. Yes the songs to begin to take on a certain formula, but there is enough nuance to keep it engaging.
The compass not only the spectrum of shoe gaze guitar sounds from over fuzzed to dreamy, but some more that fall on the rock side of indie rock, rather than just a midrange jangle. I would not say this album is ever heavy. Nor does it need to be. The instrumentals are not as compelling and feels like it is a song waiting to happen. The first half of "Cone Undone" has more of a lethargy draped over , but picks up with a melodic tension. The vocals to the title track take on the more breathy tone that is expected from shoe gaze though the song builds into one of the more aggressive moments at the chorus. I will round this up to a 9.5 as the only moments I am unsure of just need to grow on me.