RNDM are a new group that were tempered in a bygone era. Composed of veterans Joseph Arthur, Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, and drummer Richard Stuverud, the band is assumed into the very tapestry of modern alternative without playing a beat or strumming a chord. In what's been recounted as a "seamless" formation, the three-piece have only been together for a matter of months, sharing and delegating song-writing duties with the continuing aspiration to write a collection of "up-tempo songs" that would define their debut record, Acts. Without further adieu, let's spin the black circle.

Fuzzed guitars pitted against an ever-evolving pumped bass-line; Acts starts in a fresh place. The unpredictable displacement of chords in the chorus section are warming to the ear, gathering a momentum as they descend – there's a little bit of The Drones in there. Such development gracefully juxtaposes verse motifs which we're accustomed to easily. 'Modern Times' serves proficiently as a moniker, and it leaves you feeling optimistic as the train track drum-beat and guitar solo lead the way toward the exit. Second Track, 'Darkness' has similar strengths: interesting, progressive melodic embellishment of a simple theme, with the tension of treading chromatic floorboards in the intertwining melodies. However there's more of an onus on the barer section, putting more of an emphasis on smaller nuances.

As different types of songs like 'What You Can't Control' and 'Hollow Girl' emerge and the record begins to unravel, you realise how weak the production of the album is. Why, when working on such a set musical vein, would you go for a sound which is so artistically null? There's no real ambition in the sound of the record, sonically or emotionally. 'Walking In New York' could have been such a strong song if it was packaged in a more interesting way. Yes, you can hear the individual elements of each song clearly, but the majority of the record sounds flat as a result. Instead of upholding any kind of commercial value, it makes the piece sound aesthetically dated before it's even had a chance to breathe.

There's a real depth to the rich musical interaction between the founding fathers of RNDM. You can detect which songs have been written in a band environment, and listening to the instrumentation on tracks like the aforementioned openers and 'Letting Go Of Will', is really enjoyable. The entwined melodic bass and guitar melodies, an ever-changing use of the kit, sporadic percussion and falsetto harmonies could all be called defining ingredients to the RNDM recipe.

The "sky is ready to fall on you" / "you drink too much" / "everything you give to me/I'll find the strength to give away." Moments of dialogue from Joseph Arthur's notebook are interesting and invigorating; never does he ostracize you with disingenuous metaphor or sparkling whine. However, I'm not fond of his throwaway lyrics, or clichéd turns of phrase like "modern times, are coming after me/got nowhere to hide my destiny" or songs like 'Throw to the Pack'. I'd welcome them happily if they fit an agenda, but it just doesn't really seem like there's a thematic aim to the words throughout Acts.

There's no doubt that the record would translate better on stage. The songs themselves are strong, varied and assured, whilst possessing colourful, traditional rock textures. I found myself consistently frustrated by Acts, predominantly through the clear promise depicted in the opening third of the album, and lack of artistic ambition that took place outside of the live room. This album will market itself and you should purchase a copy to critique yourself, but in comparison to Ament's solo album Tone and both Arthur and Stuverud's endeavours, it falls short of a lengthy mark.