Gist Is, the debut album from Adult Jazz was one of 2014's surprise highlights. An intriguing, complex collection of art-pop tracks it sounded like nothing else, with the band weaving labyrinthine musical yarns around us - switching from flourishes of horns one second to gently plucked acoustic guitars the next. Now comes Earrings Off! a mini-album which sees the band embracing electronic experimentation.

Whilst it does make some sense for Adult Jazz to embrace more electronic instruments, especially given how much their previous album seemed to be constructed around intricate loops, it often acts more as an awkward adornment, than a compliment. On 'Eggshell' for instance, the pulsating synthesiser becomes an irritating focus during the song's early moments, diverting attention away from percussion. When 'Eggshell' does distance itself from the synthesiser it's quite glorious. The chorus brings strings and wah-wah chords, whilst the second half leans to triumphant horns to introduce a section reminiscent of the closing moments of 'Hum' or 'Bonedigger' from Gist Is.

The mini-album's focus on masculinity is at its most apparent on 'Eggshell'. "I stuff my courage with a sock," sings Harry Burgess, harmonising with a pitch-shifted version of himself. This exaggerated masculinity (both in the lyrics and vocal performance) amplifies the absurdity of the track to great effect and helps make 'Eggshell', for all its flaws, one of the album's standout moments.

The same can't be said for 'Pumped From Above', which features a rising and falling horn melody that's both laborious to listen to and later found scrapping with cacophonous percussion. 'Ooh Ah Eh' which immediately follows, fares better, its synthesised vocal loop offering a bizarro melody that sits under a scattered arrangement of strings, percussion and sampled sound effects. Part of what makes the song work is that the band seem to have stripped the instrumentation down to the bare minimum. There's never too many sounds fighting for attention, with the titular "ooh ah eh" refrain creating a narrative through-line, whilst weird variations in both the lead "melody" and accompaniment keep things interesting. The album's title track meanwhile, is an interesting, if slightly messy track which sees the band coming across as a pastoral Animal Collective.

Earrings Off! also features three instrumental tracks, but none of these feel like they add anything to the experience of the album, or its central themes. '(Cry for Time Off)' is a scratchy violin loop over oddball percussion, whilst '(Cry for Coherence)' features Burgess' sampled vocals wavering in pitch over a largely ambient soundscape. The fact that the album ends on '(Cry for Home)' - nearly two minutes of what sounds like a distorted fog-horn - means that the final impression is of the album violently deflating as expectations press down upon it.