There are no records that sound like Deep Dark United's Ancient, and that includes the band's previous records. Part of what makes it so different is an almost complete change in personnel. Moving away from the rock swagger inflections of Fools, the new DDU is driven by jazzers who twist frontman Alex Lukashevsky's songwriting into a new "out"-prog equivalent of a cave painting. The two keyboards anchor the sound, providing jumpy, complex harmony to back the often strained vocal melodies, while the lyrics maintain Lukashevsky's characteristic poetic bite and whimsy. Things can get a little too amorphous, like on the seen-it-better-live track Shadows, but Ancient overcomes this to hold its place as the finest record yet by one of Toronto's finest bands.
Deep Dark United play the Tranzac Friday (August 5).