Ex-punk guitarist Stephen Vitiello recaptures some of his former grit with this blistering collaboration with drummer Brendan Canty. Combining processed guitar, piano and modular synth with post-punk rhythms, it sounds like Battles in meditation mode.
It’s only a few moments into ‘Piano 1′ that we’re greeted by Brendan Canty’s drums, erupting over chopped piano and synthetic gurgles from Vitiello’s modular setup. The sound isn’t a million miles’ from Battles early output, with chiming looped harmonics and inventive, powerful percussion layered over the top. The mood carries throughout the record with the duo settling into a dissociated groove on ‘8th Over Modular’, and moving from militaristic to meditative on the bi-polar ‘Live 5’.
Lengthy closing track ‘Barcode Guitar’ is the standout, harnessing a woozy tropical sound that sounds as if it’s stuck between fourth world exoticism and Krautrock intensity.