Preoccupations’ songs have always worked through themes of creation, destruction, and futility, and they’ve always done it with singular post-punk grit. The textures are evocative and razor-sharp. The wire is always a live one. But while that darker side may have been well-explored, that’s not quite the same as it being fully, intensely lived. This time it was, and the result is New Material, a collection that broadens and deepens Preoccupations to a true mastery of their sound. If the through-line unifying Preoccupations’ work is a furious, almost punishing cyclical quality, New Material does offer some relief. “This is somehow the most up-tempo thing we’ve ever done,” observes vocalist Matt Flegel. To write these songs is to force oneself to reignite, to play them is to stand up and reengage. New Material builds a world for that feeling, playing through its layers and complexities while hiding almost nothing.