Battles – Mirrored
Battles are one of the most interesting bands around right now. They’ve been recording some limited edition EPs for a couple of years now, but they’ve just released their debut album, Mirrored. All the group’s members are former members of some pretty challenging bands (Tomahawk, Helmet, Lynx), so it’s no wonder that this is a unique sounding album. It’s a complex blend of rock and electronica that blends bands like Tortoise, Hot Chip and Squarepusher into a pretty cohesive album. A track like “Rainbow” changes so much in it’s 8 minutes lifespan, it’s amazing how the band fit it all in.
The opener “Race: In”, starts off with a skittering beat before it rushes in with some full bodied drums and cluttering vocals. Right now I can’t get enough of the single “Atlas”: it’s a thumping, glitchy, techno track that just makes me want to flail about the place. I’ve included the video for it down the bottom, but the album has the full 7 minute vesion. The vocals are bizarre, but the fit in with the strange atmosphere of the song. “Trails” is a bit of a letdown, as it’s too insistent to be ambient, but it never really goes anywhere.
Don’t get me wrong, this album will wind some people up. But to be honest, I’m really fucking glad that there’s a group out there that’s making music that sounds like it’s coming from the year 2007. A lot of reviewers are going to write this band off as being pretentious, but there’s a lot of humour in Mirrored, and it’s an album that makes me smile. It’s hard to take in all that’s happening all the time, as you’re just bombarded with these sonic ideas, but it’s a really exciting listen.
Battles – Atlas:
An introduction to Battles: