Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Shapeshifter, Delta

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In the words of Spinal Tap: "This one goes up to 11".

Shapeshifter's fifth LP is explosive, pulsating, and vividly colourful. They seem to have shrugged off notions of genre conformity, embraced the anthemic, and pulled synths and sax melodies out of the 80s with those drums that somehow pound, and yet tread as lightly as any tap dancer.

Album openers Monarch and Gravity expound on a theme of opening up and finding freedom, both lyrically and musically.

New single In Colour is a reminder of the irrepressible joy they're capable of sharing - it harks back to the success of tracks like Electric Dream, and One, without going overboard in the empowerment department. Giving Up the Ghost shows off their hard rock inclinations and you can hear Diamond Trade being a live monster with its primal, almost jungle-esque pounding offset by smoother, silkier P Digsss melodies. Both Shadowboxer and Little Flame show off a sweeter, more romantic side, and Flame's almost tribal drumming is a nice change of pace.

As an indication of their coming live shows, it's exciting; as an album, it's often an aural overload.

But it's impressive too - much like a great action film, it has a few corny moments, but all the dazzling energy makes for a fun ride.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Local lads turn it all up

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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