If you are shocked that this band has crossed over and made a total shoe gaze album then you have not been paying attention. George Clark has been slowly working on his actual singing voice. He is a better singer than he was a screamer, as with a few exceptions while emotive his scream was always more of a one trick pony. If he was screaming on this album there would be be people who would still try to call this metal. "In a Blur' is more interesting than what most of the other new shoe gaze bands are doing these days. He also tries to create melodies rather than the normal breathy cooing most utter. "Great Mass of Color' was one of the singles that preceded the album. There is more drive and dynamic than your average shoe gaze band who is not Nothing. The vocals sit back in the mix , but I remember being a little more impressed with his singing here and how he blends his upper register despite not being able to really belt or at least I have not heard him do so yet. In the past you could kind of get the vibe this band were Smiths fans and it comes up again here.
I can live without the cinematic instrumentals that are really just atmospheric interludes that sound like they could have been lifted from a sci-fi soundtrack. Even with the jangling guitars the drummer digs in to make things rock a little more on "Lament For Wasps". It is an effective dynamic perhaps not as punchy as where they used to go in the past, but it works for this song. "Villain" finds the Smiths side of the coin really shining more. Though I can just as easily hear Roxy Music influence. Not as catchy as some of the previous songs but it flows in a more Cocteau Twins manner that makes lots of sense. In the last minute and a half of the song it builds into perhaps not a heavier sound but more sonic one and the screamed vocals return but are further in the back ground.
Things get more driving in a more metallic direction , with George's singing smoothing things out on "the Gnashing" which is an even more interesting song and perhaps the album's best. Hear the guitarists who have had impeccable tones here so far, really shine more playing wise as they kind of jam things out a bit. There is more atmosphere at the onset of "Other Language" which is a more run of the mill shoe gaze affair. The he last song finds the band back to what you expected from them , but only in the last two and a half minutes of this eight minute song. The first six minutes has a really pretty sailing feeling, that his newfound croon works well over. I was not afraid of singing showing up as ever since I first heard them and heard them mention the Smiths in an earlier interview I knew this day was coming, my concern was more can He sing? The is , he is no Morrissey in terms of belting it out , but does fine with what he has so I will round this album up to a 10.