I have been sitting on this album for about a week. I went to go see my girl friend in Florida for three days so took a break from writing. Now I am back at it. This band is comprised of guys from Chrome Waves and Fall to Decay. Chrome Waves has gradually been showing more of their shoe gaze side until now it is half of what they do so this is not a surprise. The songs are very well written. The vocals play a larger role than most shoe gaze this side of Nothing. There are plenty of Catherine Wheel like 90s moments that shine through on songs like "Gone" . In the woozy swirl of guitar some of the songs can begin to run together from a similar pulse, so when they pick up the pace on "Alone" it helps to break things up.
'Skin" is an example of when it throbs into the sonic zip code of most shoe gaze. Reminding me of Jesu. The vocals are dreamy. The vocals do have purpose and are not just a texture even here. They pick things back up energy wise with " Spread" . This is help the song stand out against the otherwise lazy swagger that the genre is known for. They driving force of this song has some metal influence and given their backgrounds that only makes sense. I would not be surprised if they rip a guitar solo out in one song. There are grunge laden rock punches to "Inside". The vocals have more fitting room to unfurl melodies with this pacing.
For metal guys the guitar playing is very melodic , perhaps even more nuanced in this area than your average shoe gazing band. "Further" is also a more rock driven song that builds into a metallic dynamic with screamed vocals. Not sure that is the most necessary part of the equation but it works . They end strong with one of the album's best songs " Sinking" . It is catchier than most . I will round this album up to a 9.5, not metal but will appeal to most of the more open minded metal heads who were in stuff like Deafheaven and Alcest.