3.5 stars

THE oxymoronic title of the fifth album by this inventive Brisbane trio of Sean Foran on piano, Pat Marchisella on acoustic bass and John Parker on drums is a clue to its abrupt changes and contradictory mood switches.

Compellingly disquieting, this outing is less immediately accessible than 2008’s Variations. But from the gloriously deep, resonant piano clinging to the bass in Foran’s opener, Chase, to the meditative silences in Parker’s closing Time, there is much to make us comfortable with what may at first be discomforting.

Agitation gives way to solemnity in Shut Up, delicacy develops gravitas in Not According to Plan and a sprinkle becomes a deluge in Cute.

The Gentle War pits struggle against serenity in an absorbing tussle.

File between: EST, The Necks
CD launch: Sept 26, Bennetts Lane, 9pm


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