Label: Wichita Website: www.peterbjornandjohn.com It’s for the best to confront the white elephant screaming (or in this case, whistling) its head off early on; of course referring to Young Folks. The insanely catchy single became so huge and catapulted Peter Bjorn and John to all corners of the world, and the tv world, appearing on many a soundtrack. Having started the follow up to the 2006 summer anthem last autumn, the trio released experimental instrumental Seaside Rocks, only on 12” and download, to lukewarm reviews. Now see's the release of their first proper album Living Things since monster hit Writers Block,but also a new turn of direction like the 12” stopgap. ;Nothing To Worry About' beguiles massively and catches the attention with its Justice-esque vocals, but is certainly not indicative of the album. As a whole it’s notably far sparser and darker than previous work, the emphasis on using as few instruments as possible. In fact, this minimalism threatens to engulf proceedings at times; The Feeling for instance has moments of genuinely uncomfortable silences, which is a strange thing to note in terms of music. The echoes reverb and stop, creating a dark, cave-like air of musk. Darker lyrically also, “Hey, shut the fuck up, boy/ You are starting to piss me off” repeating melodically in Lay It Down. Title track Living Thing and it’s rhythmic drumming has a hint of Panda Bear to it, though with the hypnotic dreamy flow missing somewhat. Slower in pace and barren in sound, Living Thing as a whole can lack momentum and is initially difficult to warm to. Final track for instance 4 out of 5 is a chore to listen to; counter balanced is It Don’t Move Me Good, providing an unlikely yet enjoyable mix of funk and sullen pianos, akin to Lykke Lee. This unevenness and inconsistency lets the album down though too much. Many a band have created bleak, brooding masterpieces following works of world-wide pop success – think This Is Hardcore, In Utero et al. Peter Bjorn and John do not join this exclusive club, but have created a mysterious, leftfield album that contains many a pleasurable track. But one that is in need of further gelling and cohesiveness. Rating: 6/10