It Is I, It Is Time, It Is Right, while a total mouthful, is a splendid opener, easing in nicely with some smooth harmonies and light chords as it springs along, then Sniper Amen comes alive with a delightfully perky melody. Brother, Lend Me Soul is an even catchier pace that flows along with a tasty bass/drum combo on hand.
The singing to this point has been on top form, and it only continues to bloom in the pleasant Reach For Me. Rage, I Can’t See For Blood showcases a more definite pulse than before, with the beats ringing harder during the closing minute.
But things settle down for the great, acoustically focused I’m Asleep, Really I Am. On the opposite end of the scale, Land, Not Landlocked bumps up the energy for something so lively and exuberant, and it just gets better with At One, which escalates into a superb, groovy affair that has you crazily shaking your hips like an uncaged animal.
They relax back to a reasonable tempo for Condemned, outfitted with exceptionally good guitar work and containing quite engaging lyrics. Speaking of which, the titular track features some really mature, earnest writing that captivates the listener with barely any difficulty; the same applying to the muted and thoroughly magnetic concluding song, Backstrokes.
I’ve long considered Nuclear Club one of the most underappreciated acts in the Scottish scene, and after the release of this beauty, I feel the Perth boys have firmly earned the right to wider attention.
As far as sophomore albums go, Culturecope takes what worked in their debut effort and convincingly steps those up to a higher level, whilst bringing a wad of new developments to the playing field, in the process forging a record rippling with sensitive depth, broad variety and a savvy display of musical craft.