The four members of this L.A./Oakland band hang with some serious heavy-hitters in the other bands they play in (Raincoats, XBXRX), and the folks they share the microphone with on other recordings (Thurston and Kim, Deerhoof), but on this album they mostly indulge their gnarliest “Id-centered” impulses.
They split their skull between frayed and angular noise-rock and gooey, experimental noise-rock, or should I say, “noize rok?” They think they’re slamming together punk and pop, apparently, with a nod to the freakier side of equation. The first line of their press kit calls them, “super-melodic,” but they must be mistakenly referring to a different band. “Ambrosia” and “Golden” play like a looser Red Aunts, and they’re maybe even a little more demo-raw at times, but the melodies are nowhere near what the ‘Aunts can crank out. The rattle-trap drums, cramp-inducing guitars and vox are not the issue, they’ve got that shit down cold. However, the question remains, can they write songs that validate their impulses? When they become totally unhinged for a few bars at a time, as they do on “Out Of Ruins,” things become interesting, but, alas, it doesn’t sustain itself. And how could it?
How could any band sustain that? You can’t shrill and shred on every measure of every single song or you leave yourself nowhere to go from there. They do change it up and get out of the box on “Dreams Are Burned,” but it’s really nothing above a mid-grade, groaning-ambient quasi-experimentalism within the narrow noise rock confines. My suggestion: Start writing songs that employ their self-proclaimed “super-melodic” tendencies, because they’re nowhere to be found around here.