Three years after their grand return with Present, the now three-piece VDGG present their second studio album, Trisector, a surprisingly hard-edged, frequently pop-tinged affair.
On its raucous side, Drop Dead finds Peter Hammill skronking out squalls of dirty Van Der Graaf-era guitar. The railing-against-old-age anthem All That Before, premiered live last year, bites hard with Hugh Banton attacking his Hammond. Of the gentler material, Only A Whisper is the one with its sinister escalation into manic-supper jazz; it also gives the listener the joy of hearing Hammill sing about Visigoths. The only track that could have escaped from the early 70s and the only one that nudges the 10-minute mark, Over The Hill, has the requisite amount of pathos combined with furious instrumental passages.
Trisector is docked a star for opening instrumental The Hurlyburly, which, no matter how you listen to it, sounds like a 70s BBC sports TV theme. Aside from that, this is just the sort of crotchety, uneasy listen that three men growing old disgracefully should be making. If your dream VDGG is guitar-rich and crackingly paced, then you will find Trisector exceptionally satisfying.