Beginning with Dematteis on viola, almost as a logical extension from the previous album Etude, Jeopardy shows Attrition still on their same general, mid-to-late-'90s course, playing around with dooming dance/industrial trapping and classical touches for their own purposes. At this point in the band's career, the idea of Bowes coming up with something honestly new or surprising can't be entertained, but as with many artists at this stage in their career, he dedicates himself to perfecting what he's got, and does so nicely. The mere fact that he avoids Nine Inch Nails cloning is reason enough to offer him kudos, considering how badly so many performers in the field proceeded to ape Reznor's approach after his breakthrough. Rather than yelps and screams, Bowes at this point in his work, prefers shadowy understatement in his vocals aided by just enough odd distortion. His music is subtler than most at this point, in many ways much cleaner here than in earlier days. Electronic synth bass is prominent throughout, while beats are sharp but not mixed highly; the feeling is much more nervous night groove as opposed to explosive thrash. Waller provides understandable contrast to Bowes at various points, though mainly on the choruses of songs, while Dematteis carefully shades in his own string work where appropriate. The soothing then sudden build of "I Am a Thief," where his viola provides an initial setting before the beats kick in, is a fine example of this. Where the music succeeds best often means a lack of vocals, or rather, an absence of lyrics -- the weaving of wordless cries and calls on the slow crawling "The Thin Veil" is perhaps the most unsettling point on the record, as it is musical yet disturbing in equal measure. The soft version of "God Save the Queen" at the end might or might not be serious -- or maybe it's a tribute to Queen's A Night at the Opera -- but it makes for a different kind of ending.