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Ahleuchatistas - What You Will CD (album) cover

WHAT YOU WILL

Ahleuchatistas

RIO/Avant-Prog


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4 stars Ahleuchatistas, a quirky power trio from Asheville, slaps you right in the face with "What You Will" and I'm not kidding you, just look at the album cover!

The trio, founding their musical roots with post-rock, jazz improv and punk, delivers hosrt bursts of energy disguised with nonsense and funny titles ("I Used To Be Just Like You, But Now I Am Just Like Me", "Maybe Orange") but this disguise, this zany mask of sorts covers challenging compositions, mainly shifting between rock and jazzy improvisation and fueling it with punkish energy. Musicianship is high and the dissonance that is created by the three instruments can be somewhat abrassive yet incredibly catchy, like in "Sherman's March", "Unfolding" and "Shell in Ogoniland".

Post-Rock is also a main influence for the band and atmospheric passages, based around Perlowin's playing, or tension builds with explosive breakouts can be listened in "Remember Rumsfeld At Abu Ghraib", "Sometimes there's a Buggy" and "Before the Law".

Definitively an excelent album for those fond of the more proggier side of THE CARDIACS, KING CRIMSON and perhaps the heavier side of post-rock like DON CABALLERO and RUSSIAN CIRCLES.

4.5 really!

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Send comments to RavenDarkmoon (BETA) | Report this review (#125354)
Posted Sunday, June 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
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.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#127872)
Posted Sunday, July 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars It all seems so unnecessarily aggressive - devoid of melody - devoid of atmosphere or warmth of any kind - devoid of any rhythmic feel that you can latch onto - choppy in the extreme - non-fluid - sterile - every single individual track is completely forgettable. Short stabs of agitated chamber rock-art-punk, inevitably lacking variety across the course of the album and thus demonstrating an unfortunate lack of range and musicality. The 'music' isn't even (in terms of timbre) muscular enough to really kick a punch, sounding as it does rather thin overall. It is like the musical equivalent of an insect sting - irritating rather than lacerating. I enjoy the music that other reviewers feel this music could be referencing - Beefheart, Discipline-era Crimson - but this music differs in that it is completely non-engaging to me in every musical sense imaginable.

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Send comments to Neil C (BETA) | Report this review (#173620)
Posted Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Review Permalink

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