Poliça are clearly in a provocative mood. The video for the lead single from their new album featured a graphic depiction of a torture sequence, and the record's artwork features a woman's hair and the back of her neck soaked in blood. Set against all this is the title itself, a tribute to Shulamith Firestone, a Canadian-born feminist who died in New York last year. Yet the word Shulamith is related to the Hebrew for 'peace'.

So, are the Minnesotan band on the warpath? Not exactly - their highly refined sound certainly isn't as aggressive as certain parts of this album's promotional cycle would suggest, and has developed naturally since Give You the Ghost was released early last year. Their electronic leanings have been sprinkled with influence from other genres, making it harder to define what makes them tick. It's their restlessly inventive bent that makes their second album every bit as compelling as its successor.

Musically speaking, the newest incarnation of Poliça is all over the map: they get to grips with claustrophobic dance-pop on the intense 'Spilling Lines', while opening track 'Chain My Name' shows that their electronic backbone remains intact, simple programmed rhythms providing much of the momentum. Frontwoman Channy Leaneagh's vocals are clear and forceful one moment, slathered in auto-tune the next, ensuring that whatever she wants to remain unintelligible will remain such. (Clarification is provided by the full lyrics for Shulamith being available on their website.) Lyrically, the album takes the feminist torch from Firestone and runs with it, with the scathing 'Warrior Lord' and percussion-driven 'Matty' establishing themselves as particular highlights, though there's as much of that as there is nakedly personal offerings from Leaneagh, and this highlights the record's broad lyrical scope.

Taken on their own, the lyrics read as rich and complex works, and are given the musical treatment to match. From its early days as a duo of Leaneagh and Ryan Olson, the band has expanded to a quintet, with additional live members (including two drummers, both of whom have plenty of work to do) becoming part of the studio set-up. The easy hooks of their earlier material are swapped out for more daring arrangements; the pop flair is still there, it's just been taken to different places since last we heard from the band. 'I Need $' and the lead single itself, the Justin Vernon-featuring 'Tiff', dial things down to a mid-tempo lope without sacrificing any impact, making for some of the hardest-hitting material in the band's catalogue to date. One thing above all makes Shulamith special: its longevity. It's an album that sounds completely natural and jaw-droppingly self-assured, but it will sound as fresh and vital on the 20th listen as it does on the 1st. Poliça now find themselves in the rare position of having created one of the best albums of the year, two years running. They're making it look easy.