Australian industrial outfit HTRK take on a far more stripped back and minimalist approach on their third album, Psychic 9-5 Club.
The record is the first LP made entirely as a duo following the suicide of founding member Sean Stewart midway through the making of Work (Work, Work) back in 2010.
Released via Ghostly International, Psychic 9-5 Club's central theme revolves around love and the finding of happiness throughsadness, loss and struggle, played out through Jonnine Standish's effortlessly cool vocals and sharp lyrics - a permanent fixture in the band's output.
Like the vocals, the music itself unveils a spellbinding dichotomy between forlornness and positivity. The production however, is more stripped back than ever, concentrating on deft arrangement and inventive sound design techniques.
The dubby atmosphere that came in during the last album takes more of a central role on Psychic 9-5 Club, creating a leaner, sparser sound that conveys the personal nature of the album so well.
The production is more polished than before, adding a real tenderness to the record, begging the question can anyone inject industrial music with the kind of emotion and energy that HTRK can?
4 out of 5