The New Life, Tough Love Records ***
This Belfast band have been mooching around for a few years now, with various members moonlighting in other local acts such as Charles Hurts, Documenta and Sea Pinks (whose Freak Waves album of last year picked up justifiable praise). Taking its cues from a rather splendid amalgam of post-punk (grey-hued tunes such as Portrait and Hypnotic Regression are clearly influenced by The Cure’s Killing an Arab and Boys Don’t Cry) and Krautrock/motorik (the superb Occultation neatly paraphrases Neu! and Harmonia, with a sassy Hot Chip coda), The New Life manages the not inconsiderable feat of presenting an established band in a fresh, often invigorating way. Is it a tad monochrome? Slightly, but the mist more often than not makes way for slivers of psyched-out sunshine.
Download: Hypnotic Regression, Occultation, Projektions