Gloss Drop, Battles' sophomore album, is a tough album. It has the drums kicked up to eleven and enough complex song structures to make even the most hardcore fans dizzy.
Starting the album is "Africastle", which is a very strong opener with delightful textures and bombastic drums that also fuel most of the album. But you'd almost wish more of the songs were like it;
A slow build-up, which reveals expertly placed ripples of guitar that unexpectedly and cleverly shifts the melody of the song. Moments like that are missed later in the album when the sometimes dizzying electronics take center stage. Thankfully, the rest of the songs on the album do make for a highly entertaining listen.
Gloss Drop is a collaborative effort, with 4 of the songs featuring guest vocals. Most refreshing of these is "Ice Cream" featuring Matias Aguayo, who brings melodic joy into a the workings of the album.
A minor problem with the album is that some of the songs aren't engaging enough and it therefore sometimes feels more like a musical exercise than an effort in songwriting. But despite that, Gloss Drop is a skillfully crafted album, which doesn't leave you doubting the band's musical skills. Instead it rather leaves you pleased with the band's unique approach to alternative music.