Diving Bell (2012)

– Sanguine Hum

Sanguine Hum: cute name, rightly suggestive of prog, and a vast improvement on previous moniker, The Joff Winks Band. The Oxford, UK-quartet’s first effort did the rounds before in a low key way last year but Cherry Red’s new frontline label dedicated to all things musically progressive upped the anti with this repackage of ‘Diving Bell’ with tip-top bonuses. It’s actually one of the label’s best to date: self-assured, audacious even in parts, its meaty compositions converge both density and complexity with strong melody lines and lightness of touch. Sweet vocals too: as if The Delays touched down with Gentle Giant and they all invited Radiohead round. Opener “No More Than We Deserve” and “The Trial” set the Hum’s stall out nicely while “Tonic For The Snoring” is one of three bracing extras of a quality not usually found in bonus material. Hope they re-surface soon.

Peter Muir