This is a project I have always appreciated when I heard them , but have only listened to a few albums all the way through. Though when I listen to this album it strikes me that I might have preferred the albums with Amelia Tan. The way the rapped vocals sit here remind me of Pop Will Eat Itself. I mean what they are doing here is fun and I can appreciate it more when I stop waiting for the femal vocals to kick in. I like where they are going with "Happy Little Coma". It might be less aggressive but has more groove to it. The album was recorded at the onset of 2020 going to shit so that is certainly reflected in the tone of the songs. Though three songs in it is not that political. "Little Bastards" pounds your ear drums , but not much in the way of hooks to it.
I find myself wanting more vocal delivery like "Happy Little Coman" and less of this forceful talk through of the songs that is going down on "Love to Watch" . The lyrics are just not grabbing me enough to make this work for me and begins to make the song have too uniform a tone for me. Though "Love to Watch' does lock into a more melodic groove that saves the song for me. Their more aggressive approach works on "Someone Else" and the instrumental 'Spade" offers a dynamic shift that keeps the album from relying on a formula. I like the lyrics to "Hot Machine" they remind me of Mindless Self Indulgence. "Comply or Die" is a waste of a great song title as it is ore of an instrumental interlude.
I prefer the more melodic direction the vocals take on "Easy". The make the most of the groove driving "Stick to the Plan" .Even this song does not cross over into industrial , yet the are more aggressive than dark wave, electro punk could be a term used to describe them but I think aggro wave is more accurate. The last couple songs get darker and more melodic, which works for me. This album was not what I came into it expecting but is pretty solid none the less. I will give it an 8.5