Tube Alloys have made a type of record that is in short supply these days. A record that is untethered to prevailing musical trends, punk or otherwise, in either their native Los Angeles or further afield.
It's in keeping with a tradition, sure, one pioneered by bands like Wire, Swell Maps and This Heat, who sought to combine the vitality of punk music with an omnivorous ear for the avant-garde. But Tube Alloys honour this tradition with their disinterest in nostalgia and their ability to cast an irreverent eye towards our present and - crucially - our future, rather than endlessly rehashing our past. In short, Tube Alloys are adventurous where many of their contemporaries are content to play it safe.
In doing so they tick a lot of boxes for those with open minds and open ears, while simultaneously making sense of the innate contradictions found in any great work of art. Their songs are muscular without being boneheaded, clever without being nerdy. A dry Australian humour is barked with an American sense of self-assuredness. Songs end before you've had a chance to digest their brilliance, or they explode right when you think they've already peaked. And just when you think you're comfortably along for the ride, the songs disappear altogether, and the record's centrepiece abruptly takes shape as an oblique spoken riff on Time. And Time it is, for something a little different. Finally!