Stefan Neville's 2012 release for Soft Abuse was, for the first time for that label, a full across-the-board simultaneous CD, cassette, and album release -- which might not sound remarkable except that, in the context of his sprawling discography and multi-format/multi-label reissues, it makes a remarkably unified release. The basic goal of Pumice to produce fuzzy, echo-heavy home recordings of pop hooks as such remains the same, though, from the start of "Hey Crap Crab," a woozy jaunt. Perhaps it makes sense that the conventionally prettiest song is also the shortest -- and called "Hump Piss." "Covered in Spiders" strips away most of the furry edges thanks to its central if understated acoustic guitar riff, but the rise and fall of other familiar elements throughout the arrangement -- keyboards, electric guitar, vocal calls, and more -- show that Neville hasn't moved far from his core. "Stink Moon," reduced to space, some gentle guitar and drumming, and what sounds like murky bass, feels almost like if Jandek had gone fully accessible for once, though Neville's treated vocals are their own beast. "Trophy," which takes up almost a third of the album's running time, is what helps change things up from an expected flow thanks to a majestic-sounding keyboard fanfare, albeit one in the vein of Pumice's work, all enveloping texture and warmth, serenity and strange distant undertow. The concluding "Cuachag Nan Craobh" aims for nearly the same length but even more of a big finish, deservedly so -- a kind of anthem for the realm that Neville happily inhabits, distortion and feedback and a steady melody driving the way.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett