Surprise! It’s been nearly five years since the last Cloudkicker release and while that may not seem a long time for some, Ben Sharp had produced something new every year between his first full-length under the moniker in 2008 and most recent record, 2015’s ‘Woum’. And while Sharp never declared an end to his one-man band, he was certainly, and very recently, non-committal about its future. Wholly unexpected and exciting then, for ‘Unending’ to suddenly appear from out of nowhere this week. And this is no slight return. Where the (relatively) serene and simple ‘Woum’ felt a little like winding down, ‘Unending’ ramps things right back up. There are epic riffs, atmospheric soundscapes, tactile technical flourishes, and pretty much everything you’d want from a Cloudkicker record here. In fact, appearing almost a decade after the high-water mark of ‘Beacons’, ‘Unending’ could almost be an anniversary event, a sister record. This isn’t box-ticking though, this is Ben on his best form. If brief opener ‘Night’ finds him further expanding Cloudkicker’s sonic palette to include clean electronics, ‘Xoac’ is a weighty storm cloud of a song complete with thunderous rhythms and ripples of power, and ‘Void’ is a warm blanket. Nobody does it better.

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