Errors - New Relics (Rock Action)

Glaswegian art-rock trio Errors unfurl their mini-album New Relics, a scant eight months after the release of their third official full-length Have Some Faith In Magic. They've come a long way from the guitar-led post-electro of their roots, opting for a swarm of hunky synths and songs which are more like a rosé at a wine bar than a Jägerbomb in a cellar club. Everything's had a lot of time taken with it – there's more layers to explore, but the hooky urgency of previous albums seems to have fallen by the wayside. It's often elegant, frequently hypnotic but only occasionally brilliant.

Released Oct 7th, 2012 via Rock Action / By Larry Day
Errors - New Relics (Rock Action) 'Engine Homes' glistens with the dew of a hazy morning, swallowed by misty synths and flecked with sunshine stabs of strings. It's a Wonderland track – it tumbles down the rabbit hole and doesn't really cast a judgement on the surreality, but just approaches it with curious ambivalence. There's no flowing emotion, just a bit of shrugging and bleep-bloopy contemplation. The more concrete 'Ammaboa Glass' follows, ushering in a tribal hodgepodge of sleek bass, clackety percussion and trendy washes of synth glory. There's a rawness which takes the effort on a wild ride through a multitude of sounds, stopping off for unexpected breathers at colourful locales. Irresistible.

There's a lot of good sounds here, things which maybe after a few repeated listens will begin to shine as proper highlights, but at first glance they merely exist in the speakers. Errors rode into the dizzying heights of fame on white horses of post-rock drizzled with electronica sensibilities, they were new and invigorating. If New Relics was a debut, things might be different. The rock aspects are all but invisible, their place taken by chillwave pads. However, there are some moments of real intrigue and genius which still make the bitesize LP something to be taken as a serious contender.

'White Infinity' spins an M83-style mesmerising rocktronica; chopped up vocals, skittering drum beats and chattering keys all sculpt an 80s-rich track of splendour, kaleidoscopic in nature and chock full of motion. Closer 'Pegasus' clocks in at almost six minutes, borrowing from 90s raves and the ballads of new romantics. There's reverb-sodden drum machines and twinkling synthesizers, trance rhythms and a jolt of energy which feels very nightclubby towards the closing moments.

Ultimately, the opus appears cavernous. It's a sprawling record with hidden depths waiting to be explored. It's also damp, and trekking through the murk will either require the patience of a saint or the furore of a diehard fan, which this whole effort will surely enthral. There's nothing terrible about New Relics, but after what we've come to expect from the exciting Scots, it's underwhelming.