The fourth album from Chicago based group Disappears, led by Brian Case once of the Slint-esque 90 Day Men, may still embrace the same post-punk, no wave and Krautrock stylings that have distinguished its finely crafted predecessor Pre Language. However this time around they hit harder and the songs are bleaker and slightly removed from pop/ rock structure, relying a lot on repetition as well as energy and aggression.

Although they have parted company with Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley for this album, the pounding motorik style that he brought to Disappears has been passed seamlessly on to new recruit Noah Ledger. If anything the Krautrock influence is even stronger, such as on the album's centrepiece 'Ultra', whilst Case's vocal style is also developing into something deep and menacing, recalling the likes of Swans' Michael Gira or Bauhaus's Peter Murphy.

The overall intensity makes Era less of a throwback to old school post-punk, but more of an acknowledgement of, and a challenge to, their contemporaries such as Liars and A Place To Bury Strangers. The seven tracks included here may have familiar influences, but Disappears are trying to stretch and bend these into something new.

'Girl' is an immediately abrasive opening, a statement of intent, with the band pounding out the tune and the vocals coming across as edgy and distorted. In contrast to this opening onslaught, the tight rhythms evident on 'Power' create a groove and a sense of space and Case's vocals sound strong and assured.

The aforementioned 'Ultra' with its rhythmic repetition and simplistic lyrical refrain "If you go, I'll go" seems like straightforward Krautrock until it takes a a diversion into unsettling electronic noise half way through its nine minute duration. 'Weird House' also relies on repetition and builds into something not unlike the Fall would've made in the early 1980s.

In fact the only track that could fit onto Pre Language without sounding and feeling conspicuous is the title track itself. 'Era' has conventional song structure and a slightly anthemic refrain and actually serves as a decent mood changer after the relentless grooves.

'Elite Typical' comes from a similar place as 'Power' as it is driven by a pulsating bass line, almost ready for the dance floor. 'New House' changes the mood yet again, serving as an atmospheric closing track, it is a pleasantly dramatic conclusion which builds up very gradually and brings the curtain down on Era.

Ultimately, despite the obvious influences, Disappears seem harder to define this time around. The songwriting emphasis has moved from shorter No-Wave style songs towards lengthier, motorik jams, and although influences are still very much worn on their sleeves, on this album Disappears are developing and establishing a stronger identity of their own.