Plini, Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt, The Helix Nebula, SEIMS, and Violence In Action have a baby together. The name of the child with such a terrifying genealogy is Instrumental (adj.). In fact, it’s not even an actual name. But as we shouldn’t mock anyone’s name, let’s tackle this one with no preconceived ideas.
Instrumental (adj.) is an instrumental (…) band from crazed Australia. If the portfolio of its progenitors is any indicator of how the offspring will turn out, then it’s going to be quite a listen! And oh boy how it is! A Series of Disagreements is the band’s first effort, in the form of a succinct three-song EP. The madness of the title and opening track, where odd time signatures come and go, themes fly from one instrument to another, and tension ebbs and flows, quickly fades away when it ends. “It’s normal”, I should think… this level of creativity, technicality, and perfection cannot be sustained or repeated. Thus, songs 2 and 3 are much less memorable than the first one, the one that served as an advertisement for the project. This doesn’t mean that they are bad; in fact they are still some of the best compositions I’ve had the chance to listen to and review this year!
Fibonasty is, somewhat blatantly, based on the Fibonacci number sequence in a few ways, probably more than I can guess by casually listening to the song. As a simple example, the fist accents are grouped as such: 1-1-2-3-5, all on a 29/16 3-3-5-7-11 pattern (!..!..!.!..!.!.!..!.!.!.!.!..). It’s also a theme that recurs throughout the song. I also wouldn’t be surprised if some of the leads or melodies are based on this sequence, but I am way too lazy to do that. Have fun and try to find new hidden mathematical easter eggs in that song! Other than that, the song is brilliant: going from almost dance-ish jazz to mathcore, and with an amazing bass solo in the midst of all that. The last song, The Nightmare of Adulthood, is the heaviest of the triptych, and keeps most of what makes that Australian trio so great, of which I’ve already talked at length here.
At just over 15 minutes long, A Series of Disagreements doesn’t have any fat; it’s only meat. That’s also what makes it so great. There is no note that I feel would’ve been better left out, and nowhere something could’ve been added to improve the experience. It’s a marvellous work of self-restraint and artistic focus, and will certainly deserve a spot on the best releases of the year. You can get it for free on Art as Catharsis’ bandcamp, but if you can afford it, put a few extra dollars so that we can eventually get more of this!