X Marks The Pedwalk haven’t just outlasted most of their 80s and 90s EBM contemporaries. They’ve outpaced, outsmarted and outclassed them too. And by quite some measure.

‘New / End’ – ooh, cryptic, what’s that all about then? – has the same sort of vibe as the German group’s ‘Transformation’ album from a couple of years back. There was lots to like then and there’s lots to like now. It’s slinky and often sexy stuff, the melodies radiant, the basslines rolling, the lyrics both teasing and scaring. Which is a bit unnerving, but then XMTP did nick their name from the title of a particularly oddball Fritz Lieber short story.

‘Sailors At Dawn’ and ‘Kill Me Tonight’ are two of the picks. The first is a catchy synthpop sea shanty, the second a bucking mech-funk monster. ‘Sacred Ground’ and ‘Firestorm’ are less urgent but by no means lacking in drama, while ‘Into The Light’ is an absolute corker, carefully building into a mesmeric, euphoric, life-affirming frug. Pitch it down a little and it’s like being at a new beat club in Belgium in 1988. Most likely Boccaccio.

‘Transformation’ was a really good record but ‘New / End’ – erm, no, still have no idea – is even better. If XMTP carry on like this, they’ll peak in around 2050. You’re advised to get in early.

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