Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Unique experimental rock from Battles

Don’t bore me. That is my number one consideration when listening to music. This can mean being melodic to some degree. Chaos is easy to create and if you’re not giving it some structure it gets tiresome quickly. A lot of Trance music also bores me. I understand they’re creating atmosphere, but change something up. If your musical idea takes 15 seconds to express, don’t make a 9 minute song by repeating it 36 times. So use an old formula, but bring something new to it. Or challenge my ear with some completely new idea, but make it musical, not just a mathematical curiosity. Don’t bore me.

Battles: way, way outside the box.

Battles: way, way outside the box.

It is against that backdrop that I recommend you check out Battles. You have never heard anything like them. They are a collection of artists from other bands, including Helmet, Lynx, and Don Caballero, but they have come together to create something unique.

 

Their 2007 release, Mirrored, is complex and layered, mathematical and challenging, and yet very enjoyable and melodic. It features some of the most original songwriting I have heard in years. I have played this for a few people and I will warn you it may take a few listens before you start to get some of these songs. The investment was very worth it for me as I’ve had this disc for over a year now and listening to it again to write this review has made me like it more.

Six tracks from this unusual release are on my iPod.

  • Atlas – Unintelligible robotic voices and stomping percussion drive this infectious hook.
  • Ddiamondd – This is my favorite track on the disc. How someone envisions a song like this is beyond me. A frantically chanted bizarre poem, handclaps, whistling, driving guitars. So creative.
  • Leyendecker – Plodding percussion, atmospheric keyboards, and falsetto vocals fill out this eerie tune.
  • Rainbow – This song is the soundtrack to sunrise in Hell.
  • Bad Trails – A patient, ethereal vamp is the backdrop to another creative poem.
  • Snare Hangar – This feels like Math Rock but seems to actually be in 4/4 time.

I saw Battles last year at Bonnaroo, touring on this release. They were unfortunately affected by the sound problems that notoriously plague the outdoor festival, but worked through it and kicked ass anyway. Approach these guys with an open mind and listen more than once.

For the interested, here is their website.

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February 25, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Hard Rock, Jazz

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