Lowlife's fourth album also turns out to be their most upbeat or at least as upbeat as you could reasonably expect from one of the most renowned purveyors of gloom. From the mid-paced jangle with which 'Jaw' begins, it's clear that something has changed. It stems from a number of key factors: the fact that only bassist Will Heggie and Craig Lorentson had survived from the original line-up, the subsequent inclusion of keyboards and programming and a new producer. The results are brighter than normal but the melancholic message struggles to make itself heard above the technical improvements that have been made. Indeed, pleasant though they are, tracks such as 'Suddenly, Violently, Random' could do with a welcome shot of intensity. On the plus side, thanks to an emotive performance from Lorentson, 'June Wilson' is a triumph but this proves to be the exception rather than the rule. As with the 'Godhead' reissue, the main highlights can be discovered on 'The Black Sessions' offerings. If only these sparely-produced but moving songs were released as a proper album rather than a limited edition promo, Lowlife would have a record to match the highs of 1987's 'Diminuendo'.