Monday, May 21, 2007

Battles - Mirrored

After starting an underground interest around their name with a string of rare EP's (later grouped together in the EP C/B EP compilation edited last year) and following a brilliant first video that has been making waves around the internet for the last months, the Battles debut album is finally out and destined to send them into the stratosphere of critical acclaim and cult adulation. With an uncommon line-up (ex-Helmet member John Stanier – drums; ex-Lynx member Dave Konopka – guitar and bass; ex-Don Caballero member Ian Williams – guitar and keyboards; and Tyondai Braxton, son of Anthony Braxton - guitar, keyboards and vocals), the Battles carefully studied approach to music resembles also an hallucinating adventure. Their sound is rich and full of complex textures and infinite micro-details; no wonder that it's sometimes classified as "math rock". But besides this, there's a frantic approach to the sound molecule as a source of experiment, building something that could be classified as mutant adrenaline. Full of infectious hooks and riffs, insane rhythms, extreme keyboard sounds and unusual vocal samples, this is something that is both challenging and taking music to new extremes. The reward is that the energy emanated by "Mirrored" is strong enough to take anyone with an open mind into an alternative reality, populated by "bionic" (thank you Pitchfork) creatures and crazy substances. Post-rock? No this is actually post-post-everything. My bet is that this year we won't hear many other things as insanely physical as this. (8,5/10)

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