So this is where rock music got to! It has become interesting again. No skateboards, no tattoos, no trouser furniture, no monitor wedge posturing. With luck, no goatee beards or life-threatening obsesity either.
Just three cracking tracks with the classic band concept tortured into something like a musical adventure.
ELEK goes on for seven minutes, trailing us through choral, percussive, electronic, guitar blistering and dynamically weird phases. There's even a hint of Daniel Lanois' New Orleans in a funky section towards the end. Not a pudding at all though. It hangs together like a neat cotton suit on broad handsome shoulders. Very nice.
2 STRANGER is the short one. It contrasts needle high sine wave notes with grumbling bass, and strokes in some tremolo guitar chords that slew across the key with Human League wantonness. Whispered vocals hint at tunes and pull you into another world that threatens to crack up at any moment. And those scary guitar chords promise no easy escape.
HINDSIGHT does have some rock fragments scattered about from some earlier explosive disaster. I think I could hear the phlange/wah-wah effect spluttering its last for a moment. And the drum build-up to the smoke effects nearly got out of the rubble. But these guys are too damn clever. This is rock ... but not as Jim ever knew it. Not that Jim ever did know.
I'm sorry, but every rock band in Leeds is going to have to buy this, listen carefully and start all over.
The Declining Winter is led by Richard Adams formerly of Hood