For Kurt Vile fans, the eager wait between his releases must be calm and reassured, devoid of suspense or nervousness about any potential switching of styles or change of approach . Not only one of the most consistent performers in indie rock, he’s also very much on a stylistic plateau – offering little change of note between album cycles but never really disappointing anyone who’s already satisfied by his swooning, melodic stoner indie rock. While 2015’s b’lieve I’m goin down… may have been one of his decidedly weaker records (lyrically far drabber and tailing off around the two-thirds point), it still largely kept up with his happy-go-lucky aesthetic and groovy, Americana-infused spangly rock.

And to no one’s surprise, Bottle It In doesn’t really attempt any major shifts for Kurt. Lyrically, it’s supposed to be more focused around touring, travelling and missing his family; but really it feels like more of the same. His nasal flow -styled somewhere between Malkmus, Kozelek and Elverum- meanders winsomely among his song topics in a fashion that’s typical of all of Vile’s albums. A bit weird, but entirely lovely, he plods along with the occasional woop and yelp, knowing his vocals aren’t the centre of attention. Instead, and as always, the instrumentals are the crux of Bottle It In.

Yet, one can’t help but feel largely ambivalent about them. There’s nothing offensive about the large, swathing guitar riffs that lead every track, nor the simple bass grooves and methodically rhythmic guitars that persist to massage and repeat but, seven albums in, little sounds particularly fresh. This isn’t helped by the record’s length. At almost eighty minutes and with little variation, though Bottle It In doesn’t tail off like its predecessor, it’s more indulgent. Even guest appearances from Kim Gordon, Cass McCombs, Mary Lattimore and others can’t save it from feeling longer than its length; and individual tracks like the titular and ‘Skinny Mini’ prove especially testing, both breaching ten minutes and neither progressing past a singular repetitive rhythm.

Occasionally tracks do stand out – pre-released single ‘Bassackwards’ is playful and serene, without fading into the background. It’s one of the few cuts that doesn’t feel too long, bringing out Vile’s songwriting like it was on Wakin On A Pretty Daze, but updating it just a tad. Another decent cut is to be found in ‘Cold Was the Wind’ (if you’re still paying attention that far into the record), an anecdotal and scenic detailing of Vile’s travels. Other tracks are likeable because they feel familiar – opening three tracks ‘Loading Zones’, ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Yeah Bones’ could be lifted off Pretty Daze, and though they aren’t anything new their groovy rhythms and bleeding distorted riffs make for pleasant listening.

On Bottle It In, Kurt Vile is the master of his own determinedly laid back style. While this album lacks the likes of an obvious hit such as ‘Pretty Pimpin’ off of his last, it’s more consistent. However, the main detriment of Vile’s music is (and will be, for the foreseeable future) his lack of development between records. He is a man that seems so entirely satisfied with the standard of his music that he can’t think to move past it. Bottle It In does enough to keep himself and his fans happy, but it leaves waiting those of us that wish a bit more from him.