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The all-inclusive, ever-changing, and uncomfortably flexible guide to all things music in the 2010's.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Battles - Gloss Drop: B+

Want to hear one of greatest bass performances of year? Listen to Gloss Drop. Want to hear one of the greatest drum performances of the year? Listen to Gloss Drop. Want to listen to some hilariously skonky keyboard performances? Listen to Gloss Drop. And if you want to get some mind-blowing visual accompaniment to a fantastic single, I would suggest you click on that link above and sit back as your eyeballs get thoroughly reamed.

But if you want to hear an album that’s distinct from track to track, I would still recommend Gloss Drop, but would not promise that you would be reeling once the album comes to a close. While Battles maintain their high level of instrumental proficiency throughout their newest record, hearing them play off of each other for nearly an hour can get a little tiring when there are few shifts in texture or style. Most of Gloss Drop is instrumental, but this principal is also applicable when vocals are present. Matias Aguayo (of “Rollerskate” fame) puts in a fun performance for “Ice Cream”, the album’s clear highlight, but Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead and Yamantaka Eye of Boredoms don’t really add much to their respective songs and those tracks and others begin to slump and blend towards the album’s end.

But I’m being negative. Gloss Drop is still great for its musicianship and at the very least is perfect background music for a particularly rousing game of Twister. The album’s not as outlandish as the group’s watershed moment, Mirrored, and Battles may have diluted their math rock leanings to an extent, but it’s still great fun to hear these guys mull over melodies, even if it should be in smaller doses. Gloss Drop’s definitely worth your time. You might even learn something.


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