Following up on their incredible debut effort, Real Life, Magazine opts to take big risks. The album sounds initially quite strange, foreign, and more than a little off putting. The lyrics and music sound absolutely frigid throughout, and the extent to which both contribute to an overall atmosphere and sense of place and time is simply incredible. As the listener, you often feel like you are being taken through uncharted territory in the dead of winter. Devoto’s lyrics here will not disappoint, they often deal with depressing subject matter; themes such as the collapse of relationships, human cruelty, alienation and insanity are all present. The music is generally post punk in structure and delivery, however there are many art-rock and even progressive inspired moments. That being said, the sound of this album can be hard to pin down, and in many ways sounds completely unique. Barry Adamson’s incredible bass work and John McGeogh’s superb lead guitar can be appreciated throughout. Dave Formula’s keyboard work comes to the fore a bit more on this album, and helps to solidify the feelings of alienation and bitter cold. The album highlight “Permafrost” perhaps best exemplifies this, with its bitter, disturbing and yet highly literate lyrics matched with a bleak post punk soundscape.