When Stephen Brodsky, Ben Koller and Nick Cageao first emerged as Mutoid Man, it was hard to know quite how to categorise them since they drew from so many filthy pools. One might hope a second album would clarify the water, but if anything, ‘War Moans’ is even murkier. Thankfully, that’s what makes them brilliant. A good comparison would be Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell – one vile beast offering one end result when face-to-face-to-face-to-face, but three options from which to choose your doom – the first snarling maw offering old-school thrash; the second twitchy hardcore; and the third a dripping cauldron of post-alt-proto-grunge-rock. Although this rat-king approach of weaving everything into one fiendish onslaught is still very much in evidence, there are a couple of key differences. The first is the band’s increased confidence to batter on regardless of what anyone thinks, ditching subtlety and any last vestiges of pretension in favour of piling on the fun like a Hanna Barbera cartoon. A cheeky wink courses through the album like lager down a tramp’s chin, emerging most notably in the various barks, yelps and shrieks that Brodsky emits throughout like an excitable fox, and for an album so windmillingly heavy, it has more bounce than Baywatch. The second major difference is the vats of extra Slayer that underpin everything, the title track in particular separable from King et al in Brodsky’s vocals alone. The only song to forgo these traits is album closer ‘Bandages’, which simmers in the same midnight oil as Baroness, bringing the wild-eyed lunacy to a touching conclusion while proving there is more to the band than flat-out, pants-down aggression. They may sound like characters from a shit buddy movie, but Brodsky and Koller are definitely onto something with Mutoid Man, and as great as new Converge, All Pigs Must Die or Cave In albums would be, this partnership is starting to feel like a genuine ongoing concern.