Everything I can think of to say about this album is pretty much summed up with the following description: If Nirvana and Refused took an S&M session way too far after doing a bunch of cocaine, this is what it would sound like.
I was honestly a bit worried when I first heard the single Electric Drama. It sounded like they had lost that little edge of insanity that drew me to their last album. Boy was I wrong. Sure, that particular track is a little more “radio friendly” (and I mean that only in relation to their other songs, there is nothing radio about this band) but the rest of the album is breakneck bonkers.
I’m actually going to start off with the bass. The bass plays such a huge part of this band and its really great to hear it so prominent in the mix. I know the phrase “holds it down” in relation to bass playing is really overused and usually a cop-out for actually complimenting a bassist, but those words are just so true here. The bass playing is really what holds all of these crazy ass songs together. The bass is what lets all the other instruments and vocals just go off into never-never land without the song losing complete focus. The bass on this album is as important as the bass in funk, and like a funk bassist, Eric Odness is 100% on his game.
Vocalist David Castillo is fucking intense. My goodness. I absolutely love the way he allllmoooossst hits notes. Whistle Past the Graveyard is a great example. Its just so pitch perfect for the chaos that is this music that I can’t imagine any vocals other than what was committed to here. Every single song is like that too, just exactly what the song needs, there is Castillo right with it.
And drummer Chris Enriquez, ooof. Just a powerhouse. There are spots on this album where he just freaks out and it’s the best damn thing ever. But he doesn’t overdo it, he knows exactly when and where to do everything. Pound straight accents, groove, counterpoints … all are in their proper place.
Onto Arthur Shepherd. The guitar parts are so fucking good. So fucking good. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I really like dirty tones and parts just noisy, dissonant, and cacophonous enough to be interesting. He hits that balance remarkably well here. The riffs stick in your head and some of the chordal and harmonic structures almost hurt they are so wrong but oh so very right.
The list just keeps going. The sound of this album is super unique and just as great as the rest of it. Dean Baltulonis’ production and engineering is as much of a contributing factor as the instrumentation is to the album’s overall awesomeness. Everything is just shy of being clear, but also totally audible and articulate. I’m not sure how they got that balance, and the closest thing I can think of to relate it to is if Machine tried to sound like Steve Albini after getting super drunk. But that is not quite it either. It has a crazy use of artificial sounding spaces that is very distinct. Its another example of something on this album that always sounds like its on the verge of falling apart, but never quite topples.
Sorry if it sounds like I’m just shilling for these guys, but its one of those rare situations where every member of the band (and engineers and everyone who worked on the album) just clicks so well that the sum of the parts is so far above the individual pieces its ridiculous. It all just works. This album is distilled vehemence and if you want some straight up aggression with insane hooks that stick in your head, go pick this up.
Here’s a handy link to stream and purchase: