Colored Moth have transformed. No wait, they’ve evolved. Pupated, perhaps? Whatever… they’ve changed. If the Berlin-based trio’s first full-length was a searing but relatively straight-ahead slice of hardcore punk, ‘DIM’ is a firecracker in an oil drum.

The band are working with the same blueprint as before but it’s been warped and distorted, still kind of recognisable but now something remarkable and honest and new. Their sound has splintered open to incorporate post-hardcore, grimy indie, screamo, noise rock, and sparse post-punk. There’s a more confident grip of space and even silence, newly weaponised feedback, less workmanlike riffing, more unique intensity. And that’s just the first track.

Over the next 12 they draw comparisons to The Blood Brothers, Daughters, even Fugazi, but best of all, occasionally they sound like no one else at all, only themselves. ‘Letters to Aldous’ is a wiry, agitated thing that could have easily been composed and recorded with every band member running and fever and hallucinating, ‘Maelstrom’ sways and leers so much it should be breath-tested, and the Nirvana-esque riff running through most of ‘DEL’ is engineered to make you look up from your phone and pay attention.

Colored Moth’s ambition and energy does blur their focus at times. While there’s clear messages available on the lyric sheet- the band rail against technology, religion, and the state of humanity with fluent fervour – four interludes, ‘C’, ‘A’, ‘L’, and ‘M’, spell out what they’re trying to do but all seem unnecessary, or maybe just out of place, and some songs screech to a close before they’ve even really started. Some tracks will leap out of your speakers but the best parts of the album are single moments, sometimes fleeting, rather than whole songs.

‘DIM’ isn’t flawlessly constructed then, in fact sometimes it sounds like it’s held together with only spit and sawdust and screams of anarchy, but it still feels like Colored Moth’s big bang. If they continue on the same trajectory, they could be the next shape of punk to come. Boom.

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