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Battlestations - Return / Mr. Abject CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

4.20 | 6 ratings

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4 stars After the release of their fantastic self-titled debut, Belgian band Battlestations, as it is in their experimental nature, created, through their highly elusive musical formations, something that is again abstractly unthinkable, something that is so hard to put into words, something without form and yet with enough substance to go on with. Their debut Battlestations was a conglomerate of genres and musical styles, it was their search for somethind definable (which worked perfectly well), but Return / Mr. Abject EP is, in comparison, much more defined. Not conventionally defined, but defined nonetheless ? more oriented, divided in definable parts. It feels like the band started to cut back on their all-over-the-place sound. That doesn't mean that Return / Mr. Abject EP can be simply assigned one label and go with it. Their music is still very elusive in that way. But the band definitely set some guidelines.

Return / Mr. Abject EP is connected to the band's debut primarily through their by-now typical intertwining electric and acoustic guitars. Their electronic manipulation is still there, but it's been really reduced. Those guidelines pushed their music into a more familiar area ? their sound comes close to the more experimental post-punk groups of the 80's era and the more advantageous post-rock groups of the 90's. The music itself is still somehow hidden in the veil of mystery, like the band itself, but is, at the same time, much more out in the open as the music on the debut. The listener's ears can manage the sounds more clearly and the music is much more coherent altogether.

The band's second studio effort therefore represents some kind of a bridge to their potential musical expression. A bridge from adolescence to adulthood. But even though their music is much more recognizable and melodic (and therefore easier to remember), it lost some of that primordial chaos, that primal experimentation that was really what made their debut such an impressionable experience. Nonetheless, Return / Mr. Abject EP is a great release and should be listened by those who already know of the band and by those who are only getting acquainted with them.

kole | 4/5 |


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