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This was the first new album from the Enid in several years, featuring a new band line-up. It was a deliberate attempt to sound more contemporary, with dance beats now underlying their traditional classical-tinged synth and guitar instrumentals. It's fairly successful musically, if a bit repetitive at times.
Opener "Ultraviolet Cat" has an uplifting groove coloured with a soaring, sliding string melody, rhythm guitar strums and snatches of vocal chorus. "Little Shiners" has a pleasing laid-back melody, but "Gateway" is more ponderous and ordinary. The guitar solos of the title track ramble on too much, but it occasionally has good harmonies and twiddly synths. "Freelance Human" is a traditional cheesy romantic piano concerto, which is overindulgent even by Robert Godfrey's standards! The longest piece "Dark Hydraulic" starts off as a pleasing piece of ambient electronica, and builds up into a spacey prog instrumental. Good, but Porcupine Tree do this type of thing much better. The last track fades in, fattens up and fades away with a cod-Wagner synth string arrangement.
The album cover contains some of Mr. Godfrey's ramblings on quantum mechanics, the environment and boarding-school wanking games, which can safely be ignored without detracting from the music!
September 2, 2003