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Battles B EP album cover
3.05 | 3 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. SZ2 (9:19)
2. TRAS 3 (1:11)
3. IPT 2 (1:49)
4. BTTLS (12:27)
5. DANCE (4:42)

Total Time: 29:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Konopka / Bass, Guitar, Effects
- John Stanier / Drums
- Ian Williams / Guitar, Keyboards
- Tyondai Braxton / Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals

Releases information

Dim Mak Records

Thanks to sfranke for the addition
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BATTLES B EP ratings distribution

(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (67%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BATTLES B EP reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars 'Battles' is a math rock/experimental band that was formed by Ian Williams from 'Don Caballero' who plays guitars and keyboards. There were 3 other members including drummer John Strainer who also played for 'Tomahawk' and 'Helmut'. This album is the 2nd in a series of 3 EPs that were released through a period of 3 months.

It starts off with 'SZ2', a nine minute track. It starts off with a pair of noodling guitars, and suddenly explodes into life at 2 minutes. The music is harsh and processed, so it's sometimes hard to tell what instrument is playing. The music is straightforward rhythm, but that is all that is straightforward about it, with strange harmonies and exciting counter melodies and textures. If you are familiar with 'Don Caballero' music, then just take that and add an element of hardness/loudness, and you'll have an idea. The meter/tempo changes throughout, and the playing is amazing, with the virtuosity that you would expect from a group of masters like this.

Next there are two short tracks just barely over 1 minute each. 'TRAS 3' is a strange sounding track that sound like a melodic washboard with guitars. 'IPT2' features a quickly picked guitar and other strange sounds with a basic rhythm. Other interesting sounds ensue. This could have been developed into something really interesting, but it's over too quickly. These two short tracks take previously released songs from past albums/EPs and reinvent them for pair of quickies.

'BTTLS' comes next and clocks in at over 12 minutes. This is made up of an ambient drone with processed percussive sounds that sound like they were sent through a synthesizer and chopped up and mixed around. After the heaviness and thickness of the first track, this is almost like a complete opposite, a study in minimalism. The drone at the beginning stops being constant, but gets manipulated itself by changing volumes, and it remains far in the background. Nothing really develops here, and it almost reminds one of trying to start a car that shows a lot of promise, but only spurts and sputters and won't turn over. Too bad this goes on for way too long.

The last track is 'Dance'. This one takes a repeating drum loop, then adds regular drums over it, and a funky organ. Plucked guitars add to the funkiness. The tempo seems quick with the percussion, but the 'melodic' parts are more sustained. The sound gets quite metallic after a while, and has a hypnotic, yet nice effect. This is a good track to end the EP.

If we were to rely on the excellence of the 1st and last tracks to rate the album, with the short tracks as filler, then this would have been an excellent EP. However, with the long 'BTTLS', the EP gets brought down quite extensively. Yes it's one track, but it makes up nearly half of the EP. Maybe if these 3 EPs were released as one album, things would have been better, and a full album may have been able to support the long 4th track, but it only bogs everything down on this EP. It's too bad the great material here has to be ruined by one track.

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