Minimalism is tricky to nail punk (and post punk). Because it’s a reduction to the bare elements without losing power. For maximum effect, it’s knowing exactly what not to play as it is what to play. Skeletons with phantom power. When to pound, when to tap. When to lunge. When to hide in wait. And that’s why any music that’s sparse, yet powerful and totally on target, there aren’t many bands that have stood the test of time. Wire. Early Gang Of Four. And to bring up those two bands isn’t in any way to suggest that The Estranged are regressive, it’s to show that there’s a high water mark, and if you’re going to be in band, why not aim for that? There’s no hiding behind a wall of sound, no banks of effect pedals, just well-constructed, icy, and sparse songs that are simultaneously filled with doomed thoughts, self-immolation, and joy. Excellent.