Answers, something of a comeback album after a four-year hiatus (and reportedly the group's final recording), comes at an odd time. Most of those aforementioned hipsters have moved past the "post-" to embrace either garage rock or punk-funk (a style whose resurgence Ui prefigured in the band's cowbell clonking and almost tribal low-end wobble). Ironically, this gives the album a certain freshness: Unfettered by hype, Ui has settled down to craft a collection of grooves that sound almost, well, grown-up. Combining compressed power chords ("Back Up") with whimsical bass harmonies ("The Headache Boat") and drifting into lackadaisical Americana (the appropriately titled "Banjo"), Answers seems at times like the work of a particularly urban jam band, turning on a dime from orchestrated riffage into taut improvisational passages.
Devoid of vocals, Answers sometimes feels as though it lacks a center; this might have something to do with the record's oddly muted quality (given the current pop penchant for effects-soaked productions, how can Ui's unadorned style not sound muted?). But once you stop looking for the focal point and instead immerse yourself in the sprawl of a lullaby like "Sleep Hold" or a repetitive puzzle-box like "Please Release Me," you'll find plenty to hold you inside -- whether you've decided to hang your hat on rock's last post or not.