When Saints Go Machine - Infinity Pool

The entire things feels disjointed, and doesn’t make for the easiest listen in the world.

Label: !K7

Rating: 6

It takes just over 45 minutes to listen to ‘Infinity Pool’. Just over 45 minutes to absorb it in its entirety – but far longer to decide how you feel about it, particularly in comparison to When Saints Go Machine’s last effort, 2011’s ‘Konkylie’.

Still of the synth-pop vein in part, the Danish band’s latest release has taken a dark turn, focusing much more on hard electronica. There’s something else though. The entire things feels disjointed, and doesn’t make for the easiest listen in the world.

Opening with the excellently gritty ‘Love and Respect’, featuring Killer Mike, it’s practically all downhill from there. Lighter tracks like ‘Infinity Killer’ and ‘Dead Boy’ are all-too forgettable by comparison; the darker beat of ‘Degeneration’ would’ve been amazing if it wasn’t up against sparse, cold vocals that sound like they should have emotion in them, but just don’t. It just doesn’t work, no matter how much you wish it did.

There are still redeeming moments, however. ‘Iodine’, with its heavy beat, is a dramatic mix of synth and sad robot vocals, courtesy of Nikolaj Vonsild. ‘System of Unlimited Love’ takes the robotic sound they’ve made their own and really makes the best of it, with electronic build-ups contrasting with the more relaxed chorus. It’s these switch-ups that make ‘Infinity Pool’ a worthwhile listen.

Then you’ve got the easily most accessible track, ‘Mannequin’. With the vocals at one of their least distorted points, and its loud-quiet-loud structure, it’s big and catchy and the strings sounds are just gorgeous.

‘Infinity Pool’ is a mixed bag. It’s almost self-indulgent at times, particularly in album closer ‘Slave To The Take In Your Heaven’, a title that makes even less sense than the strange lyrics at the end. It’s a record that lacks the structure and order needed to make it into a cohesive unit, one that can be listened to beginning to end without skipping tracks.