Most Anticipated Album Releases of the Week - Fucked Up & Battles
This week will see the release of two of the most anticipated indie releases of the summer, Fucked Up's David Comes to Life (Matador Records) and the sophomore studio album Gloss Drop(Warp Records) from math-rock trio Battles. While being two very different offerings, the ambitious nature of both are evidence of how the word “Indie” has become to signify an ever emerging word of cross genres and artful experimentation.
When William Congreve said "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast," yes, it's breast not beast, he obviously never heard a rock opera from a band whose performance destroys studio washrooms. On FU's David Comes to Life, the Canadian punk band's third full-length studio release, the band make a serious gamble at injecting theatrical story-telling into rough and tumble hardcore, but not without the hints of melody and symphonic structure. Allegedly a story of “lost love, global meltdown, depression, bombs, guilt and madness,” the album details the ascension of protagonist David set in a late 70s British industrial town.
Singer Damian Abraham's trademark raspy growl makes an excellent narrator to the struggle of a man loosing everything “Running on Nothing,” and then brutishly trying to wrestle his life back on “A Little Death”. The vocals of female bassist Sandy Miranda have been increased throughout the album, “The Other Shoe,” accenting Abraham and extending the range of the band's build-ups and moods. Enjoy it for the sake of wild man vocals over 2 step beats with ambient guitar work, or purely the grandiose story, both are easily achievable on David Comes to Life.
On the more instrumental spectrum is New York-based Battles' album Gloss Drop, an exploratory new release for a band who recently became a trio. On Gloss Drop we see the band treading new ground both in personnel and progressiveness. The line up features former members of Helmet and Don Caballero and recently parted with guitarist/keyboardist Tyondai Braxton. Their strength has always been the immense use of mathy chemistry that weaves ordinarily jarring sounds into a danceable circus of angular rhythms. Tracks like the single “Ice Cream” and “Inchworm”, run the gamut from everything from pseudo-tropical splashes, to tambourine percussion and what resembles phased dub organs. Members have assumed new playing duties with the new configuration, yet the album displays a new found accessibility and freedom of composition.
If you were a fan of the band's songs with vocals, then the 7 minute closing track “Sundome” features Yamantaka Eye of Boredoms handling the bands scatterbrained vocals right where the departed Braxton left off. Others tapped to guest include Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino and electronic godfather Gary Numan. Attempt Gloss Drop if you want an album of instrumental complexity that is still lighthearted and fun enough to listen to in the summer time.