Los Angeles punk crew hit a sweet spot between hedonism and poignancy on a multi-layered second album
If you never go on holiday but always go 'travelling', you'll love it.
Blame the hippy parents if you like - the young Merz, aka Conrad Lambert, accompanied them on their journey of self-discovery - but unless they physically crept into the studio one night and replaced their son's sonic magic with the sound of global yawning, Lambert must take the rap along with the cosmic biscuit.
Cod reggae and sentimental folk, 'jazzy' drum'n'bass and steam-cleaned world influences - it's all bundled up in the kind of political consciousness and personal awareness that spends far too much time idling in Waterstones' self-help section.
The dynamic patter of 'Many Weathers Apart' and hemp-trousered enthusiasm of 'CC Conscious' show Merz's aims in a noble light - male Bjvrk, unfettered exploration, millennial synthesis - but elsewhere it's organic only in the most compost-related way.
Conscious? Aware? By the end of this, man, you're barely breathing.
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