A dark brooding atmosphere dominates the apocalyptic dances of Land’s “The Maze We’re In”. New Wave, electro, hard rock, EDM, ambient, and classic house get filtered into the sound. The mixture of old school and contemporary approaches further muddy the waters for theirs is a world that defies easy categorization. Riffs race through aplenty for theirs has a fully-fleshed out approach. Beats hit with physicality as they conjure up imagery of vast, unknowable spaces. With more than a slight nod to a futuristic spaghetti western atmosphere, the album has a truly immersive quality.
Bands influence the entirety of the whole experience. Notes of Depeche Mode’s gothic undertones permeate the lyricism. On the dance-oriented side of things, one gets the sensibility of Underworld’s 90s output, when they go for the totally disorienting assault on the senses. The EDM aspect features some rather wonderfully tortured storytelling, the sort of haunting beauty mixed with playfulness that made Tones on Tail such a beloved hallmark of post-punk meets the dancefloor. Elements of the work do draw from classic house tracks and their approach features a classic intense Detroit Techno flavor to it, complete with crushing bass.
“The Maze We’re In” goes for a wild, free-ranging grooves. Vocals have a commanding presence to them with the rest of the sound gradually building itself into a fantastic fury. Rhythms slow with the contemplative tact of “What Remains”. On this piece, they bring a little bit of a disoriented funk into the fray, for the noisy aspect of the work has a passionate appeal to it. By far the highlight of the entire album comes from the power force of “Rules (21 Mix)” with the sound filling the sky. An impressive sprawling introduction leads way to an industrial-sized beat that pounds with pure adrenaline. Great attention to detail makes “The Maze We’re In (Out of Control)” incorporates shards of melody adding to the transitory nature of the work.
A grandiose disposition takes shape with “What Remains (Elektro-Funk Rework)” featuring some clever re-arrangement. Here they take that funky vibe of the original and greatly elaborate upon it. Hyperactive in its endless unfolding “Rules (I.T.L. Mix)” features a grandeur that brings to mind sweaty clubs and partying late into the night. Neatly bringing the whole collection to a close is the western twang of “The Maze We’re In (Wave Mix)” with the square wave synthesizer stabs adding to the hedonism of the work.
“The Maze We’re In” revels in the heaviness of Land’s probing lyricism with verses that try to dig deep at the very heart of the human condition.