Bailter Space open up Vortura with something far fiercer than their usual combination of fire and ice. Defying expectations sometimes backfires, but "Projects" is a massive, brawling monster of a track, on which Parker rages about people stuck living in ghettos while others "in high places" live comfortably. Overall, it's one of Bailter Space's best efforts ever -- a call to arms that works on all fronts. "Process Paid," featuring a ranted verse and softly sung chorus over a propulsive trance-rock track, recalls the general sound of Robot World. From there on, it's business as usual for the trio, who do what they do best over the course of these 11 songs. The first single, "X," is another definite high point for the band -- a confidently anthemic charge that brings to mind Echo & the Bunnymen and various shoegaze bands, but without sounding like either. Some songs are slightly tweaked from the basic Bailter Space sound, such as "I.C.Y.," which is much more stripped down than many of the band's songs, and "Reactor," which consists mainly of Halvorsen's bass, McLachlan's generally buried percussion and pulses, and Parker's guitar filling in shades and sounds instead of crunching through a lead riff. Generally, though, it's pretty much typical Bailter Space, and while it may lack the sense of freshness and achievement of Robot World, Vortura still serves up the goods. Halvorsen and McLachlan make for a great rhythm section, as always, while Parker's guitar playing and evocative, if often cryptic, lyrics and singing remain sure and true.
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