Ruban Nielson's emergence back in 2011 as Unknown Mortal Orchestra happened to ride the wide crest of a psychedelic re-emergence in mainstream US indie, alongside daffy wastrels Ariel Pink and Ty Segall. Being the very incarnation of the term 'hit and miss', the genre has spawned more brief starbursts than lasting marks. If there is a classic to be found in the midst of the swell, that particular pearl is perhaps still awaiting discovery.

UMO's debut had enough lustre to demand attention, not least the excellent 'Ffunny Ffriends' and 'Bicycle'. The combination of looped basement beats and Nielson's delicate guitar work won him brief notoriety, even as a host of genre imitators poured out in his train. Lumping UMO in with the 'fuzz and twee' addicts would be a gross miscalculation, even if they do share a similarly sun-kissed, so-hip-it-hurts aspect.

The Nielson psych slideshow continues throughout II, which is largely pitched as a companion-piece to its predecessor. The sonics are absolutely identical; everything seems to sit beneath an oily fug, with drums largely recorded in live takes and huddled together in the mix beside neatly interweaving guitar and bass. If Ariel Pink is Instagram in music form, harking back to slackerism, bad hair and sun glare on polaroids, UMO were the garage band who kept the metal doors down and lived solely for the next night's show.

A spine of brilliantly realised white soul runs through II. The single 'So Good At Being In Trouble' recalls Stevie Wonder and the Meters and posits a complexity that is a leap forward from much of their debut. There is a quality and ambition to the songwriting on II which is sadly lacking from many of their retro-ist contemporaries. 'Swim And Sleep (Like A Shark)' carries a melancholic lilt as Nielson intones "I'd fall to the bottom and chase all my dreams away" in a lazy register belied by the smartness of his Santana-esque riffing. The heart is not always as visible as the head.

Once or twice however the mask slips, and we are treated to some old-fashioned, derivative nonsense. 'One At A Time' would sound just as dull if it'd actually been recorded by The Seeds instead of just traced over like an Austin Powers wardrobe change. 'No Need For A Leader; enjoys its extended jam at the expense of disrupting the pretty tight running time of much of the rest of the album. 'Faded in the Morning' isn't actually that bad, it just feels modelled on a Paul Weller B-side from Stanley Road and is superfluous in the context of the archer, more introspective elements on display.

The odd clunker aside, this is a sparkling second innings. 'Monki' builds up walls of pink fuzz, with a Woods-like near-falsetto and a nicely loopy ambience. The limits that Nielson puts on his production actually help to enhance the listener's attention to the intricacies of his guitar work. He has an OCD-like fascination with tidiness; there are no blustering moments of wig-out, just nicely observed patterns and intentional feints and missteps. Whether or not this finds UMO a wider audience, only time will tell. As it is, it's a supremely commendable second effort.