Herald rating: * * * *

There's not a big market for instrumental rock, yet Napier three-piece Jakob have been doing it for more than eight years.

In that time they've released a handful of EPs, seven-inch singles, and three albums, including 2001's stunning Subset of Sets, but their sound hasn't changed dramatically.

Within the space of a song they can move from brittle and shimmering beauty into big, lush waves of noise, flecked with distortion, and unexpected climactic crescendos.

However, their third album, Solace, requires more patience than previous work because it's more moody and menacing. While these seven tracks, at 50-plus minutes, are not as beautiful as the Jakob of old, it's great to hear the Napier boys letting their hair down and revealing some of their more heavy musical influences.

On Pneumonic there's a sludginess that is downright sloppy by Jakob's standards, yet it's still effective. Meanwhile, Oran Mor is dominated by a mid-song outburst of swampy abrasiveness. There's also another extreme - the hushed ambience of the final two nine-minute tracks, Everything All of the Time and Saint.

Verdict: Turn the third album by Hawkes Bay instrumental rockers up full volume for maximum effect

Label: Midium