Live: Rendered Resplendent. Lower Dens, Madame Jojo's.

Nauseating splatters of discoball speckle the floors of Madame Jojo's as fairy lights add yet more glisten beyond an arsenal of elaborate equipment. 'Tis a setting as picturesque as any opaque, barely starry and scarcely black night draped over the capital although this evening's White Heat rundown is a little less idyllic. It's an odd combination of flavours and one you assume few would have the necessarily acquired taste for. For having Jana Hunter's eruditely wistful Baltimore clan Lower Dens slopped on the same plate as Porcelain Raft and Trust is a little like the sonic equivalent to a hurriedly prepared platter of an alloy of marshmallow and tin that's then drizzled with Campari. That Hunter headlines prior to Mauro Remiddi's stint means many digest this one before the bitters drown out the other incongruous flavours involved in this mess of a mélange.

And a mess is precisely what Trust prove to be: ranted over and raved to at last weekend's The Great Escape, this heinously nonchalant trio – leathered of trouser and vapid of expression – sound as though writhing about awkwardly with Heartbreak's Italo-disco pastiche beneath a dense cloak of witch house. Anti-charismatic, their half hour is ashamedly cheaper and trashier than Ethan Kath fishing for wishbones amid the bins round the back.
Which renders Lower Dens all the more resplendent in comparison: opening with I Get Nervous, if a slight patina of anxiety clings to Hunter's face it oughtn't for its typically lethargic, if luscious plod serves as the consummate reintroduction to both the band and the band's debut full-length Twin Hand Movement. Indeed her band is these days discernibly different to that which last trudged up and down the country, as the Texan freak-folk polymath has conducted some significant surgery on its genetic makeup in the interim period although the segueing Alphabet Song demonstrates an already established collective deftness as they scamper from I (Get Nervous) through B(rains). The latter sees the five-piece finally canter and whilst thrillingly tight, simultaneously the sound remains incredibly loose. It's a confounding reality yet the result proves utterly dumbfounding and, tonight transmogrified into an irrefutably monstrous epic, it is the singular Nootropics moment to even so much as touch certain elements of its predecessor. And in fact given the comparative negligence of such stuff this particular Soho soirée feels more showcase than show; more evolution than revolution. Which perhaps, given the title of her latest, is precisely the intention.

However whilst Hunter may now be backed by several new faces it's the bewhiskered, previously acquainted visage of bassist Geoff Graham that is – perhaps as a direct result – promoted to a far more focal role. His bass too has been afforded a greater spatial realm into which it may boisterously roam, and it does so to invigorating effect on a totally prime Completely Golden, a track all but entirely dictated by the lavish instrumental narrative that drives its chorus. Yet vocally the pair have grown together, their sexless dual tones enwrapped tightly around one another like strands of particularly clingy double helix and although the here and now may seem somewhat transitional (Hunter periodically looks perplexed by her own pedalboard tomfoolery; tomfoolery to have even the beardiest of bods chin-stroking down to the bone) Batman, a track released in-between days as it were, serves as a superb example of aural substance over sartorial style. For if they may look a little sloppy, they almost overcompensate on the elaborate stuff that gurgles through and grinds against these rickety old speakers thus to paraphrase a band oft ill-fittingly cited with regard to this Hunter of a rampant melancholia, it's evolutional.