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Ahleuchatistas - What You Will CD (album) cover





3.50 | 15 ratings

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4 stars This is the third album by this excellent avant rock power trio, and the first to appear on Cuneiform records. They specialise in pared to the bone instrumentals played on guitar, bass and drums with minimal use of effects pedals or studio trickery, and it's very much a trio of equals with the three instruments evenly balanced in the mix.

The most obvious point of reference here is Captain Beefheart. The tightly composed, arranged and played pieces sound at times like instrumental out takes from Trout Mask Replica or Lick My Decals Off, Baby (and yes, Ahleuchatistas really can play that well), but overlaid with a contemporary sensibility that takes in aspects of post rock and math rock. There are post rock style alternating fast/slow or quiet/loud passages, but without the long build up favoured by bands like Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky; only two of the tracks break the 4 minute barrier, and several clock in at well under 2 minutes. Early Massacre and Korekyojin are also possible influences; there's a whisper of jazz about the music, although there's little space for improvisation, and there is no discernible funk undertone. It's cerebral stuff, carefully thought out and played with great skill and imagination but with little obvious passion - this is very much music for the intellect.

This album could equally appeal to fans of Explosions in the Sky, Slint, Discipline-era King Crimson or Captain Beefheart. It's complex, thoroughly composed and superbly played music, although the slightly clinical and detached feel may be off putting for some listeners. Cautiously recommended.

Syzygy | 4/5 |


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