the thunder's noise is our delight, and lightning makes us day by night

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ALBUM REVIEW: BATTLES - Mirrored (2007)

Just for fair warning, this isn't a metal album. Battles are an experimental rock band, pretty much the only rock-type on legendary IDM label Warp Records, and I think they live up to the expectations of Warp well enough. Consider that they're driven by their drums and guitar like a regular rock outfit, but that isn't to say that there's no electronic elements involved. Their songs float through giddily with upbeat synth effects intertwining with the guitar riffs and excellent Marc Bolan-esque drums. There isn't much vocal work to be found, but what there is reminds me of something like My Bloody Valentine on helium and sped up, I honestly can't tell if it's a male or female singer without looking it up. Some songs like "Ddiamondd" recall a Lightning Bolt like noise and nonsensical, fast vox to go with whistling and random effects like change jingling on the ground.

My personal favorite on the record is "Leyendecker," with it's slow, pounding stomp-beat courtesy drummer John Stainer and the two tracks of whimsical, processed humming for vocals. It wouldn't be too surprising to hear this one end up a hit in clubs, not that I know anything about them. In the end, Battles crank out some groovy, swinging robot rock, almost as if somebody took a run-of-the-mill stoner jam band, made them into cyborgs, dropped them some LSD, and locked them in a recording studio.


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