After doing the “Elaine” split-7″ for Wake the President in the spring, they let me design the new album as well. Much of the design has been retained, but this time with a painting by Kathryn Rodger on the cover. The album is called Zumutung! in German and is distributed by Tri-Tone (thankfully not hampered by the London warehouse fire!). As can be expected after such a long hiatus, during which the future of the band was unsure, it’s certainly a step forward for them. Recorded mostly by the Sandberg twins with help from session players, the arrangements are bigger and the interplay between the acoustic guitar, the melodic bass and the James Kirk-inspired leads that we knew from the first records is replaced with a fuller sound rounded out by keyboards. While perhaps sounding more like contemporary Glasgow groups in the indie circuit, Erik’s fascination with American groups like Real Estate still shines through. In that sense, they’re not too far from Spectrals’ approach, as heard recently on his brilliant debut Bad Penny. Zumutung! is released on LP and digipak CD on Monday.