Bruce Soord With Jonas Renkse: Wisdom Of Crowds

Prog-based pairing treads rather too carefully.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

This crisp, crunchy collaboration between The Pineapple Thief frontman and Swedish prog-metal outfit Katatonia’s singer sees the prolific Soord taking charge of the music while Renkse overlays his solid, scratchy voice.

If it lacks the abstract ambition of last year’s superior Steven Wilson/Mikael Åkerfeldt team-up as Storm Corrosion, it does endeavour to colour its straight lines with dashes of trip-hop and industrial buzz. Four years in the making, it begins with burbling and glitches that mildly nod to the Portishead-Tricky influences of Soord’s West Country roots, and the title track bounces around tentative, exploratory rhythms.

It then disappoints, following well-worn conservative patterns established by the likes of Snow Patrol and Editors – Renkse almost sounds like he’s auditioning for one of those bands. Much better are the frenetic climax of Frozen North and the slow-burning The Light, which bursts into a cascade of thundering electronica. Promise as yet unfulfilled.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.