The best song from Doctrines' debut EP, Grey Home & Northern Grammar, painted a grim but fond picture of their scruffy town. The band are from Manchester, but the theme of imperfect urban life is one that most of us can relate to.

This new collection, Ze, forgoes such simply relatable subject matter in favour of a wonky story about futurism and transhumanism. Lead track 'Climbing Yggdrasil (Everybody Loves Ray Kay)' references Ray Kurzweil, an American inventor who predicts that humanity's technological advances will soon overcome nature, disease and possibly death. Vice Magazine summed up his ideas with the phrase: 'In your face, God'.

The song ends, 'Ze said "Well I’m dying too, as such there one thing I’m sure... The trans-human condition, is a noble position, that follows tradition from Gilgamesh to Science-Fiction!" If that sounds convoluted, that's only because you're stuck with a puny biological brain.

Looks like Doctrines have gone all prog-rock on us, doesn't it? That would certainly explain the wailing, widdling guitar that circumnavigates this EP many times in its 18 minutes. The familiar thick chords are all present and correct, but that second guitar is always up there, flying above like a zeppelin. Every so often it takes over, abandoning verses and choruses to zoom off, all strings blazing.

Sometimes it doesn't work. 'Climbing Yggdrasil' doesn't need its guitar solo ending and 'Heads Like Empty Cans' sounds like a hippy jam track; without the noodling there'd be nothing left. When it works, though, it sounds pretty triumphant. The stomping mid-section of 'Part III (Jacob Meets The Luvvites)' seems to be around a hundred tiny guitar hooks at once. It's as danceable as a !!! song. In other places, some of the lead lines come off sounding like Yuck - or Dinosaur Jr and the other bands Yuck emulate.

Just as noticeable as the guitar is the singer, Jamie Birkett, who's nearly as hoarse as the guys from Wu-Lyf. About as fervent too. The lyrics seem to take precedence over vocal rhythms; there are often an awkward number of syllables. Still, for this sort of zeal you'd forgive almost anything. You'll have to spend some time on Wikipedia to really understand 'Climbing Yggdrasil's chorus, but you'll be singing along way before that.

The lyrics and guitars make it easy to accuse Ze of over-egging it, but in Doctrines' defence it's a lot more consistent than their last release. They've carved out a nice little niche for themselves, and with a bit of fine-tuning they might well strike on something spectacular. Hopefully they'll manage it before Ray Kurzeil's prophecies come true and we all turn into robots.