The follow-up to the much simpler-titled Freckles, Amo Amas Amat Amamus Amatis Amant is Redhill, Dorking and London lads Arcs' second EP. We said their debut EP had a "distinctive, dark and broody but noisy sound" and that it was a "decent, unpretentious, uncompromising record". Since then, they've had some 6Music airplay and added Grouplove to their clutch of support slots that already included The Chapman Family and Cymbals Eat Guitars. The band's facebook page claims they're influenced by "Film, art, football, cricket, finance" and that they sit around eating fried chicken and discussing "whether or not 'cricket-core' is an acceptable musical genre". I'm fully behind them on both counts.

Freckles was very reminiscent of early 90s progressive rock bands and that continues here with the first track"Electronics", which is a rousing statement of intent. Arcs don't do easing in gently. The brash nature of the song hits you straight away, it is complex, complicated and forceful in the same way Talons' sound seeps into your brain. There's so much going on, perhaps a little too much, as it takes a good few listens to appreciate it all. Math-rock with a couple of unexpected twists and turns, including dual vocal melodies that tell you "electronically I'm home". The aggressive nature calms down for 'Looking Glass Girl' a song that has more of an atmospheric post-rock feel complete with Paul Colto's Thom Yorke-esque vocal stylings. One of Arcs' key strengths is the way they use Colto's voice as an instrument, it adds a real depth to their sound. The halfway point of the EP, 'Escapes', has a vivid industrial ambience along with some very depressing lyrics: "ou don't matter anyway, you just don't matter anyway" followed by "Ever get that feeling you don't belong?". Deerhunterâ's bleak atmospherics meets Minus The Bear's favoured experimentation and it all ends too abruptly, which is kind of apt.

The opening of 'Fighting Differences' is evocative of a more approachable Meet Me In St Louis, although still full of Arcs' favoured complex arrangements that are difficult to follow yet somehow fit. It's a challenging listen but worth persevering with, and the way Colto sings the words "fighting differences" is very unique. It deserves to be heard. However, the closing 'Broken Homes And Goldfish Bones' is the real centrepiece. Clocking in at the six and a half minute mark, it opens as a calm and despondent piece and is the kind of slow-burner that iLiKETRAiNS specialise in. It even has the dejected lyrics: "Life's too short to change or rearrange the visions I once had"/"We're too young to hide". After two and a half-minutes, seemingly out of nowhere, some screeching guitars come crashing in, the crunching riffs colliding with glockenspiels in a stop-and-start breakdown that lasts for a couple of minutes, only to then make way for the calmness once again. In a way, it kind of overshadows what has came before it as it is such a strong and all-consuming song. That's not to do the others disrespect, more a praise of a triumphant finish. The final line sung on the EP is "This is the end". We hope it isn't.

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