Mini-Reviews LXXX

Montréal polyrhythmic deconstructors Bisbâyé have slowly uploaded the songs that now make up Synkronyk since December, and the final result is finally here! They’re the only band I know where I consider having two drummers is a necessity. Their left-right rhythmic eccentricities develop to even more monstrous depths, on this new forty-minute metal slab. Most often, one guitar is tied to one drummer and the two are panned on one side or the other, with the sole bassist doing twice the work to keep up with both timings at once. This creates quasibinaural beats that have a strong power of entrancement upon the puny listener’s brain. Listen at your own risks.

Click here to listen to ‘Regurgitator’.
Not NerdsTirades in a Mental Arcade is a tough album to find! The synth-heavy hardcore band from San Diego released their newest EP in early March, but I didn’t become aware of it until very recently. However, the wait and the efforts have been worth it!, for this is really an astounding little album! Musically, it oddly reminds me of Arsonists Get All the Girls – although it doesn’t really sound like it, there’s the same kind of hard and heavy whackiness -, with the singer not being too far off The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato and harsh-mode Mike Patton. Really something you don’t want to miss!

Talking about difficult ones to find, this one you can only listen to and download on the band’s VK page. Russia’s Афазия Брока (Afaziya Broka) released Никто не слушает альбомы, все слушают треки (Nikto nye slushayet albomy, vsye slushayut treki) – which roughly translates to ‘No one listens to albums, everyone listens to tracks’ – in November of last year, but it seems like it only now surfaced. The ten-track album features some really cool instrumental progressive metal with impressive talents from each of the band’s members. The whole album is really well made and explores widely different aspects of the ‘bedroom prog’ style. You shouldn’t let this one slide by!

French band Psygnosis are releasing their latest album, Neptune, on May fifteenth. The album shows great promises, but significant flaws too. The guitar sounds and riffs, the cello, and all the keyboards (or programmed synths) sound really good and are just amazing to listen to. The album goes from lengthy atmospheric passages to some really gnarly, heavy ones. Contrary to most players in that genre, what grabbed my attention the most was the former, atmospheric parts. They are lush and well-built, they draw from many influences, such as post-rock and electronica, and they take the time for us to let them sink in, and they develop them slowly but thoroughly. They feel complete and important. On the other hand, the ‘metal’ parts suffer from two main flaws: programming and production. The former refers to the drum programming, which is really bad. It sounds as if the velocity is always maxed-out, and that sounds especially bad on the snare. The drum parts themselves are good and believable, but they would need to re-input them all over to fix this. Secondly, the production is ridiculously brickwalled. Whenever there’s distortion guitar and drums playing at the same time, you can hear that disgusting digital distortion due to the sound waves being clipped at half amplitude. That’s unfortunately a potentially-good album that won’t get many ulterior listens from me.
Subetroth is a surprising discovery I made this week. They use both fretless bass and guitar to give their stoner doom metal a little something more. On top of that, there are some pretty cool choices made on their upcoming album, Agnozia. For example, there’s some traditional instrument on ‘Ungrown Tug’, which you can listen on bandcamp right now. This definitely gives the song a Far-Eastern vibe. On ‘Preacher, Drunken Killer’, there are some female vocals, which also give a different feel, much appreciated. Their use of fretless guitar makes the whole thing sound like it’s being played on a lap steel guitar. Whether this was intended or not I could not tell, but it gives off an American folk sound, too. In the end, in the span of three songs and almost thirty minutes, the band manages to send us flying in many unexplored territories of sludge music. The album comes out Saturday, don’t miss it!
Poland’s The Sky Is‘ sophomore release, Télépathie, came out recently, and it’s some pretty nasty post-metal. Contrasting the heavies and the softies, the band takes you through desolate landscapes that dimly glow with morose shades of grey on this brilliant EP. Nothing’s beautiful except the melancholy and sadness on display here. It’s a rather simple post-metal collection of tracks, but they are dangerously effective and cathartic. Truly something special.
The Physics House Band‘s newest baby is finally here! Mercury Fountain, their first release in over four years, is out for the world to see, and it’s absolutely fantastic! The band has cranked their electro-infused math rock to even higher levels of awesomeness. The fuzzy bass and ceaseless drums carry the track forward at high speed, while the guitars, synthesizers, and other instruments (like that sweet, sweet vibraphone) offer more harmonic and melodic context for us to truly bathe into and enjoy the beauty and complexity of it. This album really is only slightly below perfection, that’s just how good it is. Dive in and enjoy!
The odd Russian jazz ensemble Сольвычегодск (Solvytshyegodsk) just released their latest seemingly-monthly release, Игра́й, гармо́нь! Игра́й, люби́мая! (Igray, garmon! Igray, lyubimaya!) – which roughly translates to ‘Play, accordion! Play, darling!’ Their most recent avant-garde jazz album prominently features an accordion – no surprise there -, on top of their already almost-saturated sound. The use of field recordings is once again very present, but the ratio of compositions to excerpts is much higher here than on their latest, jazz-core release. It’s a really interesting album to get, once again, so hop on their bandcamp page and check for yourselves!
Eternity Forever, a somewhat pleonasmic name, is the most recent melodic math rock supergroup, with members of Dance Gavin Dance, Strawberry Girls, and CHON. Their debut EP, Fantasy, came out yesterday, and it’s four very enjoyable, funky, and soulish tunes! Kurt’s vocal chops are already well established, but they only expand in this slightly new territory. If you want a bunch of feel-good tracks, then this is the right thing for you, it’s so good!

On April 21 2017, this entry was posted.