Battles, 'Mirrored' (Warp)

8
Mirrored
Critical Mass
Label: Warp

by Marc Hogan

Remember "shock and awe"? On their debut album, Battles bring that brutal, futuristic precision to the art-rock avant-garde. Featuring keyboardist/guitarist Ian Williams of math rockers Don Caballero and drummer John Stanier of post-hardcore virtuosos Helmet, this New York-based group layers sound manipulator Tyondai Braxton's alien vocals over muscular, off-kilter grooves. Think Captain Beefheart, if he'd been a fan of kraut rock and Animal Collective -- or, on the deep, martial drums of single "Atlas," Marilyn Manson. For rock that's both fist-pumping and forward-looking, this album suggests that Battles have few peers.

Now Hear This: Battles - "Leyendecker" DOWNLOAD MP3

Now Watch This: Battles - "Atlas"

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