Save for one collaborative EP on Dumb Unit, we've heard nothing from the Italian duo since their debut. This album more than makes up for that. It's so focussed and fully formed you'd be surprised if Francesco Leali and Federico Maccherone had left their studio at all in the last year. From rumbling dub to post-apocalyptic ambiance, dark pop to rampaging techno, B.O.A.T.S. freely explores the parameters of a full-length in ways that recall Trentemoller's 2006 opus, The Last Resort.
This often bleak but never hostile ride would be a fine soundtrack in the right club, but it also makes for a powerful experience in headphones. "Running Searching" is both cavernous and intimate, not least because of its clean and laid-bare vocals. Much of the album is muffled or veiled, as if coming through a wall or up through the ground. "False Matters" best exemplifies this, with fierce and buried kicks that sound like a distant subterranean pulse.
Whether you're drifting like flotsam in the percussion on "Prisms," drowning under the grainy dub chords of "Hidden Spectator" or coming down with the innocent lullaby melodies of "Lost Keys" (featuring Tale Of Us), you always feel cocooned in a pillow-y womb of sound. B.O.A.T.S., we're told, stands for Based On A True Story. Come the end, that satisfying feeling of having just experienced something, of having been somewhere, is very real indeed.