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No matter how loud I play them, APTBS have never quite managed to translate the visceral thrill of their shows to record. Live, they pound you into submission, but on ‘Worship’, their third album, you need to dig deeper to find your gold. There are hooks of course, but they tend to be instrument driven rather than vocally, and herein lies my only criticism of what is yet another fine record.

The vocals themselves are fine, but they float above the music and are way too high in the mix, and the normal ‘pop’ trick of pushing the vocals and burying the instruments has actually made this record less accessible, by blunting the soundscapes and layers that make the band such a spectacular one. The normal touchstones are in place for anyone familiar with the band; early Mary Chain, MBV and shoegaze mixed with harder stuff. If that’s your thing then few do it better, but live is still the place to see them.

By Olly Parker

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