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Battles - Mirrored CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.81 | 126 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I was expecting a lot from this much-acclaimed record. I'm no fan of taking the soul and the human emotion out of music but I'm always ready to see where the brain and the musical mind can take us.

BATTLES most certainly takes us to unexpected places. Here we have an album where, as many have already said, the music becomes a machine, a computer, devoid of heart and feelings, full of rhythmic and harmonic inventions.

The music borders on electronic, on dance-techno, but it has plenty of rock elements. In the end, is first and foremost a rock album, and as such for me is a mixed success.

I certainly enjoy and admire the creativity and the skills showed by the band. Many of the tracks are made of simple, very simple ideas that get the BATTLES treatment whereby instrumentation and repetition are the key to achieve the goal. Ideas, melodies are not really what matters here. What is necessary is to find a single theme, a single riff, usually a bass line, build a complex drum pattern for it, and add layer after layer of guitar and synth work. The requisite is this: any hint of feeling has to dissapear. the music has to sound as unhuman as possible. At some times in the album the music verges on post-rock and that's where it's at its most human. But usually that lasts only a few seconds, as the constant addition of effects, noises and notes dehumanizes everything in the long run.

If I have a criticism towards this album is the fact that, from a personal point of view, it's difficult for me to fully enjoy music where repetition is one of the key factors. Many tracks, as I've described, are simple ideas repeated ad-nauseaum, something that makes this music seem to trivial, too experimental, even too pretentious, in a way. Another element I don't like that much is the ocassional use by the band of vocals, weird, speed-up, Alvin-and-the-Chipmunk style vocals that take some seriousness off of this fantastic experimental exercize.

As experiments go, this album gets a high 4.5. As a musical experience, I can't say it's perfect. Though from what the musicians tried to do, I can't help but agreeing they've succeded.

The T | 3/5 |


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