If Patricia Hall and Ian Hicks ever split up, the inevitable debate over who gets what isn’t going to involve custody battles or cheap-but-functional IKEA furniture. It’ll clearly be over the couple’s synth collection, which is as crucial to their chemistry as whatever made the Soft Metals members fall for each other in the first place. That bond is so strong, in fact, that two of the eight tracks on their second album are strictly instrumental, beaming their very own vision of melancholic body music (“Hourglass”) and crystalline Klaus Schulze chords (“Interobserver”). Everything else is just as evocative in the Roland, Korg and Moog department, too, alluding to acid techno (the title track), woozy coldwave (“No Turning Back”), and prismatic electro-pop (“In the Air”) with Hall’s vaporized vocal melodies weaving through every last loop. Guest appearances from Suzanne Kraft and one-half of Optimo (JD Twitch) serve to sweeten the deal, making this a record best suited for midnight drives and 4 a.m. foreplay. Guess they weren’t kidding about that cover art eh?
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