Back in the early 1990s, the emergent genre known as shoegaze seemed only to revolve around north London and the Thames Valley. Perhaps the first US based band to get pigeonholed along with those Brits was LA's Medicine. Based around the considerable guitar and keyboard skills of Brad Laner, the band signed to Creation and Rick Rubin's American Records, eventually gaining considerable exposure with a cameo role in the movie The Crow, performing their song 'Time Baby 3'.

However, that was eighteen years ago, and apart from 2003's The Mechanical Forces of Love, which was essentially Laner on his own with Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon on vocals, the band Medicine has been on hiatus ever since.

The best thing about their new album To The Happy Few is that it manages to sound utterly contemporary. Made with the original line-up, including Beth Thompson on vocals, this is not the case of a band re-visiting their old sound. Instead they have created an album which sits very snugly along recent work by the likes of Caribou and M83, both of whom Laner has worked with in the years when Medicine was inactive.

Opening track 'Long as the Sun' announces their return in a grand way. It starts with a burst of noise before the rolling bass line and harmony vocals come in, the lead guitar melody and walls of noise are the distinctive parts though. As if there wasn't enough happening, the song changes tack halfway through with a surprisingly funky middle eight, which gives way to another melody-versus-noise battle.

This sets the tone for the rest of the album. Throughout the ten tracks, sunny psychedelic melodies drift in and out of focus whilst the keyboards and guitars create overpowering sheets of noise. 'It's Not Enough' has a crescendo that can flatten you, whilst 'Burn It' uses some splendidly woozy panning effects to make an uptempo pop song into something much more arresting.

'Holy Crimes' keeps up the pace with some very busy drumming, whilst 'Butterfly's Out Tonight' is more shifting and trippy, or perhaps it could just be a sunny pop song with piano, depending on what part of its packed four minutes you dip in to. These songs are so dynamic and volatile it is impossible to predict where they might go next.

Drops in the tempo are effective too, such as 'The End of the Line', and 'Pull the Trigger', both of which give the melodies room to breathe. 'Daylight' is the epic sweeping closing track, weaving acoustic and electric guitars together with some disorienting back-tracking to keep that psychedelic element very much to the fore.

With their Californian harmonies and crushing blasts of noise, Medicine were always towards the heavier end of shoegaze, or whatever you wish to call it, and this album confirms that they have lost none of their intensity. In fact, they've added to it.