Granted, Royce aren't the first group to meld hip-hop beats to melancholic indie rock but the likes of Hood and Walter Meego now have this act for company. 'Ebbs & Flows' is a fantastic example of what they do. Some skittering percussion, Kraftwerk-style melody, guest rap vocals and Jamie Clemmons' own sombre musings all combine to make something which shouldn't work but does, quite beautifully fact. As it happens, it is Clemmons' vocals which proves to be a key element on so many songs; adding human warmth to the slightly kitschy music on 'Girls On Bikes' and 'Ginelle', or sounding wistful on 'Milwaukee' and 'Cigarettes & Cisco' with their echoes of classic The Sea And Cake. That said the predominantly groove-laden instrumentation is normally rock-solid enough so that even the wordless 'Ocean Summer Mist' floats away in a dreamy aura of its very own. Moreover, Royce seem to mix their styles on a consistently high level; arguably beating the efforts of their contemporaries into the bargain.