This album has been a long time in the making. Atlanta quintet Mood Rings released their melancholic lo-fi debut EP Sweater Weather Forever in 2011; it was a record that saw the mingling of 80s kitsch, shoe-gaze and post-punk and their new album, VPI Harmony, continues in much the same genre-flouting vein.

The band are an intriguing bunch. When listening to their music, there was one press shot that persistently plagued me - it shows all five members dressed in white, staring expectantly up at the camera in a scene that looks like it should be set pre-alien abduction or post-WHAM concert. Whatever it’s meant to represent, there's an uneasy suggestion of secrecy and commune (see also track 'Charles Mansion') that lurks beneath the flourishing synths on this record; think Summer Of Love put through an unnerving, disconsolate filter.

Superficially VPI Harmony appears to be just another collection of dreamy pop tunes but there are interesting stratums of auditory nuances to uncover here. Opener 'Dark Flow' sets the tone; it's gentle, gauzy and wistful. Previously released single 'Pathos y Lagrimos' begins with some Stephen Morris-esque drumming before changing direction, incorporating cascading guitars and a barely distinguishable vocal, which transcends into a wash of soft, psychedelic swells. 'Promise Me Eternity' is the most upbeat track - well, at least the first minute or so sounds cheery enough until there's a sudden ballad-like shift.

'Sexy Mystery' is a phrase the PR team have attached to the promotional material for the album which I’d say is a fair description despite the fact 'sexy' sometimes yields to 'mopey' - typical lyrics include "and time destroys the strongest love" and "I could die/No one's inside." Yikes. In summary, sexiness is tempered by misery so don’t expect any sax - we’re absolutely not in hip thrusting or bumping 'n' grinding territory here.

The sexiness issue aside, as a whole it's a rich album that lulls the listener into a false sense of security. Even if you're not captivated from the off then it's more than worth persevering with. Songs seem to unwittingly change their pace and tone at unexpected intervals and it's this unpredictability that makes VPI Harmony so intriguing.