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North Atlantic Oscillation: The Third Day

New age prog, great when it’s epic.

For this Edinburgh trio it truly is as if punk never happened. Winningly conjuring up images of Pink Floyd’s operating theatres and Genesis’s bucolic cricket pitches, they completely sidestep rock’s most turbulent era and meld 70s prog to another era where long-haired public schoolboys ruled album rock – the shoegaze scene of the early 90s.

The opening salvo of tracks here – Great Plains II, Elsewhere and August – are sonic triumphs building layers of glacial etherealness, heavy drums , innocent melodies and vaguely mysterious lyrics. It’s enough to prompt even a non-indulger to consider investing in a bong.

Midway through, though, momentum is lost – Do Something Useful’s flickering mix of industrial fans and shortwave radio sounds clichéd, while Wires is little more than a wimped-out facsimile of Kid A-era Radiohead. What promised to be an ambitious sonic symphony peeters out in a beautiful but watery haze./o:p