With 2020’s Headwars marking his return to the front lines of electronic rock, Jim Davies continues to blur the lines between rock and electronica on his latest solo endeavor, Prey Later. Punchy and punky guitar riffs scrape atop tightly programmed beats and layers of synthesized energy that strike with the point-blank precision of a lightning bolt, with many tracks sure to spark memories of the mid-to-late ‘90s when Davies helped to define the style. For example, “The Bar is Low” opens the album with an interplay of muscular synth and guitar riffs that, along with Davies’ acerbic diatribes on the dumbing down of modern society, are sure to remind some of latter day Pitchshifter, while the closing track, “Hit the Reset” almost sounds like a long lost track by The Prodigy, wrought with sharp electronics, warbling guitars, and some vocoder for good measure. The same is true of the Empirion mixed “Choose Your Poison,” its pumping techno rhythms and virulent bass sequences making for a perfect dance floor killer, the appropriately minimal vocals resonating like a mantra. This isn’t to say that Davies is trapped in the past by any stretch; “V Sign” sees him collaborating yet again with Tut Tut Child to craft a viciously anthemic track whose metallic EDM/dubstep synths and rolling bass slice through the mix heavier than any guitar, while songs like the mildly funky shuffle of “Almighty” and the trippy title track swing with an almost cabaret atmosphere; though Connar Ridd’s resonant croon gives the former track a softer tonality that stands out on the record, the latter might have benefitted from a more sultry female vocal a la 12 Rounds’ Claudia Sarne or More Machine Than Man’s Tasha Katrine. On the other hand, Abbie Aisleen’s emotive and harmonious presence amid slapping breakbeats and groovy yet guttural bass on “Gravitate” achieves that effect quite well, while the mechanoid manipulations on her voice in “Wake Up > React” accentuate the song’s scratchy and insidious atmosphere. On top of all that, every track on Prey Later clocks in at four minutes or under, making each an easily digestible yet no less bittersweet morsel of attitude-laced machine-driven rock. In an age of nostalgia, Jim Davies’ fresh take on the sounds he helped to create certainly should be resonating with a much larger audience.