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Tuesday, 12 July 2011 06:25

Charting the music: Battles, 'Gloss Drop'

Charting the music: Battles, 'Gloss Drop' facebook.com/battlestheband
Written by Reinier Timbas
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Like a fast-paced action montage, New York City-based, electronic rock group Battles' newest release, Gloss Drop, immerses the listener in a seemingly non-stop audio assault. The album will leave you wondering, "What are they making that sound with?"

In a post-Braxton era the remaining Battles members Konopka, Williams and Stanier have taken the sound in a direction truly their own, shedding the need for constantly pitch-shifted vocals and the injection of random audio samples. The instrumental sound is definitely more refined than their debut album, Mirrored.

While "Ice Cream," with vocals from Matias Aguayo, teeters over the edge of dance pop, songs like "Futura" show the amazing talent of Battles to take a simple loop and create a compass-less journey for listeners to groove to. The quick tempo "My Machine" showcases late '70s, early '80s icon Gary Numan's vocals bringing a gratifying shock to the album. Meanwhile, Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead keeps the tempo up with her vocals lending a sultry rasp on "Sweetie & Shag." The intense, loopy nature of the tracks on Gloss Drop is easily enough to keep the audience bouncing off the walls. All in all, Gloss Drop is an intriguing, entertaining ride.

P.S. I still have no clue what that pink stuff is on the album cover.

Written by Reinier Timbas, Music Department

On the KDHX Charts: #1 Electronic and #10 CMJ for July 5, 2011.

This album can be heard on: Juxtaposition, the Space Parlour, Slip of the Disc and Wrong Division.

  Ice Cream (Featuring Matias Aguayo) by BATTLES

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