Chvrches – Every Open Eye (4 stars)

Second album Every Open Eye sees Chvrches in unapologetic, aggressively catchy mode

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Chvrches – Every Open Eye

After capping an intense two-year campaign to conquer the known world with a post-tour sojourn in their Glasgow studio, Chvrches are back. Happily, they’re still plucking nuggets of gold from their particular seam of edgy, empowered electro, and from the evidence presented on the new album Every Open Eye, the band haven’t lost their penchant for aggressively catchy, smart pop music.

Despite lacking the shock and awe that gave their debut such immediacy, Chvrches have maintained the momentum and lyrical sharpness that made them such an act to watch upon their arrival. They’re still pissed off, and they’re still up for getting pissed. Unapologetic opener ‘Never Ending Circles’ acts as a high-tempo lead in to the record, while the band indulge themselves producing something that almost sounds like a club banger on ‘Keep You By My Side’. That said, the inclusion of tracks like ‘Down Side of Me’ – a surprisingly meditative song about heartbreak in hindsight – showcases a reflective side that wasn’t obvious before.

Under the bonnet, not much appears to have changed since 2013’s The Bones Of What You Believe, with Iain Cook and Martin Doherty sculpting sugar-rush synths around tightly-plotted beats whilst Lauren Mayberry softly unpicks her critics in what, on lead single ‘Leave a Trace’, can only be described as a diss track, Chvrches-style. Despite vowing never to read her own reviews, it’s clear that Mayberry takes criticism personally and given her recent highlighting of the online vitriol reserved for Chvrches, it’s hard not to read ballsy defiance into her lyrics. ‘You think I’ll apologise for things I left behind/but you got it wrong/and I’m the same as I ever was,’ she taunts, perhaps inviting her accuser to come and have a go even as she’s burying them on stage.

Out now on Virgin and Glassnote.

Chvrches

Glasgow-based electro pop trio touring in support of their second album Every Open Eye.

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