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Battles - Mirrored CD (album) cover

MIRRORED

Battles

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.79 | 111 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Math-rock is not a genre I would want to listen to every day, but compared to most examples of this music, Mirrored is rather warm and soulful. This is undoubtably because of the participation of vocalist/keyboardist Tyondai Braxton, son of avant-jazz musician Anthony Braxton. He has since left the group and I can't imagine a Tyondai-less Battles making another album as good as this one. But who knows, stranger things have happened. Joining Braxton here is guitarist Ian Williams, formelly of Don Cabellero, perhaps the most well-known Math band. As well we have drummer John Stanier who used to be in the metal band Helmet. I can't remember exactly what the background of bassist/guitarist Dave Konopka is. Together they create some fresh music for the 21st century.

It's strange that these guys are on Warp records, a label more known for it's experimental electronic artists like Aphex Twin, Autechre and Squarepusher(here on PA). I don't think Battles is the only 'rock' group to have signed to Warp, but certainly the most famous. "Atlas" should have been a big hit, but unfortunately it's not something your average Kanye West or Linkin Park fan wants to hear. Their loss. I love how the tempo starts to slow down in "Tonto". "Rainbow" is the longest song here and the one that is closest to sounding like 'traditional' prog. "Snare Hangar" is great but at just 2 minutes is way too short. I love where the piano comes in about halfway through. Stunning.

Tyondai uses computers to alter his voice to great effect. Sometimes he sounds like a scary chipmunk! The music here is well played and the songs are generally interesting. This certainly does not sound like your typical Math-rock, but the instrumental prowess is there. It's actually kind of hard to describe the music here. Sort of a weird combination of hard rock, jazz- rock, hip-hop, country-rock and electronica. But trust me, that description doesn't do any of the music here justice. You have to hear it yourself. Symphonic Prog fans will likely find this music too repetitive; Metal folks won't think it's heavy enough; and your average rock fan in general will probably think it's too electronic. But if you have an open mind towards newer music and want to hear something that's fairly unique for something that came out in 2007, you might enjoy this. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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