The Gaze Inward
Review by Wiley on August 10, 2009.
Frenetic, dissonant, spastic, awash with the energy of some hyperactive childs form of relaxation - this album is all of this and more. Occasionally hitting upon a hook or groove, but rarely lasting long enough to truly be enjoyed. There are mellow moments drenched in off the wall jazz with vocals dreamily living on some
cloudy elevation high above the realm of believability. These guys truly do not let up assaulting the senses with off the wall rythms, broken flows of guitar, and beyond eccentric taste for the bizaare.
But lets now delve further, vocals approaching Mike Patton's flavor of insanity, or perplexing sanity, guitars that grit when they grind, and dream when they chill, a bass strong, warm, and more of a foundation, drums that match the spatter flipping all over in all manner of rythmic conglomerations, maybe over thought, or maybe just what this sort of spazz needs, and noise, samples, piano, mindless clusters of chaotic sound, amek your trip down the rabbit hole all the more torturous.
Now while I am painting a very David Lynch-esque picture, there are some similarities here that cannot go unnoted. Fact is everything seems a bit undone, or maybe perpetuated from the same stance as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum with hints of metal come earlier Dillinger Escape Plan's more math ridden achievements, and the vocals reeking of said Patton-esque diversity but bogged down in the neutrality of gutteral vomit grind and screams more akin to current hardcore metal. Very moving and always bringing about differing feels about every 10 seconds or so. I feel some serious nods to the wonder of Chris Dodge via the guitar and vocal sputterings that lack lyrics here and there, and the noise more of the same blotter as say early Exit 13. If I had to imagine what this would be as a painting, I might liken it to a painting of splattering cascades, or a Dali vision of his more abstract and cynically put together - multi messaged pieces.
The quality here is album quality, and this is a must as these Northwestern via Chicago boys really peel the paint with their scattering of riffs. The drums occassionally lose their bass to the layering of guitars, but not inaudibly, just lost as to impact. Fact is, with all that is going on in this recording, the only people capable of finding a different and more appropriate mix would be those involved. Highlights to the tester would be 'Houdini's Achilies(sp?)Heel', 'Cloud Of Synthetic Locusts', 'Pecking Out My Stained Glass Eye', and 'Teetering On The Edge Of Nothing'. Though I cannot claim to know what headspace these boys live, their grind occupies a good space in the compendium of off the wall metal - from the package presented here - I truly dont think they want you to really understand. Though
you might not find yourself having too many repeat listens (this is a very intense disc), if grind is your cup of tea - this might be an avenue you'd like to explore.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.4 out of 10