Massive Attack are returning to the fray fairly shortly, with a quite excellent EP, which sounds to me, (though I haven't been keeping close notes), like the best thing they've done in many, many years. It's housed in an excellent sleeve and features guest appearance from Young Fathers, (who might as well be the band's long lost sons), Roots Manuva and best of all, the return to the fold of Tricky, who appeared on their still magisterial first album Blue Lines, and as part of The Wild Bunch, before cutting loose on his solo career.
The whole record speaks loudly with all their old confidence and skill, which to me they lost somewhat after their first few records though thes admittedly set the bar almost impossibly high for almost anyone to follow, including themselves as it turned out. They have done good stuff since of course but with Grant Marshall also having come back to the band in recent years, this feels like a restoration of all their old authority and paranoid resonance and depth. Marshall talked on re-joining of 'bringing back the black', to Massive Attack and it's here in full force.
Housed in a quite beautiful limited edition, special limited edition vinyl sleeve available from the band's website which I might have to invest in, it's gratifying to hear them in such rude health again. The Pitchfork website has given the record a quite grudging thumbs up dwelling on perceived sins of the last few records and sniping particularly and quite unfairly at core member Robert Del Naja (3D), as if unwilling to dwell solely on the record and its merits. I think it's what the young do. Hear the record. It's a joy!