A half-dozen albums in and the New Zealand sextet are dabbling in dominant synths, wide-eyed AOR and eighties production values du jour. But Give Up Your Dreams is too smart, experimental and rhythmic to be wholly tamed by processed sheen. Opener ‘Mountain’ finds layered cosmic prog grafted to muscular percussion, while jerky Joe Jackson-alike ‘Bob Lennon John Dylan’ has a chorus that would have drawn fingers to record-buttons during its source decade’s Top 40 countdown. The clear smash, though, is the title track, a pulsing disco-pop nugget that insists happiness arrives shorn of aspiration, while wryly asking: “How does one transition to a mortal from a God?”. As with much here, it’s a remarkably upbeat spin.
Live: Oslo – November 2nd