Saturday, January 21, 2012
X-Ray Press - UVB-76 (2011)
The moment that you stop caring what a group sounds like and give in to the album that the band has presented you with is when everything comes into focus. Most math-rock fails utterly in this respect, throwing a series of exercises in instrumental prowess flecked with heart pulls. That is what we except as a great math album but it doesn't have to be this way. X-Ray Press gives us an alternative. The album as a whole is dangerously brilliant and sequenced better than i've seen a group tackle in a long spell. The obvious question and one I really wanted to distance myself from was tagging this. This is a great rock album updated for 2011 to appeal in an impressive way to those that enjoy unique instrumentation and tasteful vocals. (my answer) The answer you likely want is that this sounds like progressive post-punk math rock blanketed with a disjointed 90's indie rock bent. I feel like this tag really cheapens what these guys have going but if you needed that then there it is. The guitars and keyboards are frequently distorted and from song to song take great joy in never settling for any specific style. You can tell there is a deep love of prog going down but stripped of straight up technicality and pomp help this go down smooth. The ensuing jagged structures are made tuneful with the help of really great vocals. In the end its hard exactly to tell who's doing the coolest thing in a song. I strongly urge everyone to take the time and sit with these all the way through. I feel like a lot of times im guilty of blasting through so much music that you really miss those groups that are trying to get you to sit and take in their story. My ears are all yours X-Ray Press. I suggested you all do some ear lending as well.