It’s seems as if Nine Black Alps have been around forever; a name that’s familiar but at the same time had people wondering, are-they-still-together? Well, they are and now on their fifth album – their first in three years. They’ve returned with what’s being touted as a rockier sound, which is true, though not quite the whole story.

The single Novokaine and the pumping driving Blackout open the album and while they have a slight ring of Oasis, albeit with balls, there’s still that lean towards plaid and Seattle. Elsewhere they sludge things up with Patti, and peddle the metal with Come Back Around. Destroy Me is a whirling cascade of guitars and album closer Clown, while on the surface a bass and drum led pounder, actually has quite a sunny disposition.

The new single Supermarket Clothes is altogether brighter sounding song. That, Morning After, and the psychedelia tinged Take Me Underground lighten what is quite a heavy album, and they don’t sound out of place either.

So despite having a heavier sound, noticeably helped by a spick and span production, Nine Black Alps can mix things up. They play the light and the heavy off each other quite neatly. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop from here.

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