Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Brown Book - Thirty-Nothing (The Brown Book CD-R)

Here's a little disc I got sent a while back from Ryan Lavery. Hailing from the Boston area, this quartet of fellow Massachusettsers mix equal parts mathy metal with more experimental and drone sensibilities for a highly together and realized sound that avoids a lot of the pitfalls of groups like Battles, etc., who I really could not care much less about. Instead, the musicianship here is impressive, but balanced by a genuinely experimental side that nevertheless is sculpted into song formats.

The opening "Deer Heads" is a case-in-point. Starting with an aimless drifting drone line, the sharp thud of drums and bass soon present themselves, driving it forward with exacting momentum. The dudes really can play too, and though the riffs may initially appear pretty progged-out, they work and rework them, staying close enough to mobilize them into a real frenzy. All instrumental too, which is nice for a unit of this precision. "Fat Birds" has a similarly explosive rhetoric that grooves mightily in the wake of the pounding drum line. A real barn burner that seems to have its sights set on the horizon, but that is too deeply ensconced in the riffage to bother looking toward the foothills. This spot works too.

Other highlights include "Snuff King," with its brittle guitar looping buildup, and "Half Bald," probably the most ruthless and hardcore-based track here, which I'm a total sucker for. The disc really slays, and if you're into slayage with an experimental slant and openness toward unabashed riffery this is right there. One to watch for sure, keep your eyes peeled. Or just scope their site and grab yourself a copy.

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