Bruce Soord With Jonas Renkse: Wisdom Of Crowds

Prog-based pairing treads rather too carefully.

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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.