It wasn't until 2003 that Mew, a band who had been together since 1994 and had released two albums previously, came to prominence on the indie scene. The Danish band had recorded their third album 'Frengers' with eclectic producer Rich Costey, and his input - as well as the inclusion of an unbelievably good lead song ('Am I Wry? No') saw the quartet hit the tastemakers for six with their "thunderstorm pop", as one critic accurately put it.
Two albums later, and Mew - now a trio, since the departure of bassist Johan Wohlert in 2006 - have enlisted Costey again for the follow-up to 2005's '... And the Glass-Handed Kites'. 'No More Stories...' is as offbeat and stubbornly strange as anything the Danes have done previously, singer Jonas Bjerre leading the charge with his otherworldly falsetto in stylish fashion.
Mew don't really do 'quiet'; much of this album is based around bombastic explosions of sounds that veer in as many directions as a wasted firework. There are surprises at every turn: 'Introducing Palace Player' is tied together by jerky guitar play that's almost Franz Ferdinand-esque, 'Repeaterbeater''s strangled riffs fuse with a dark electro hum, and the steel drums and chanted vocals of 'Hawaii' intermittently hit cloud-bursting territory.
There are several moments of respite from the aural assault that is 'No More Stories...', though. 'Silas the Magic Car' and 'Intermezzo' 1&2 break up the forcefulness somewhat, as does the slightly cheesy 'Sometimes Life Isn't Easy'. If there's one drawback of Mew's approach to music, it's that too many of these songs touch on the epic, which ultimately dulls the effect of the songs that truly gleam. Then again, when they're executed with such tight panache, there's something to be admired about its grandiosity.