The first single from the Russians to go by a name instead of a number opens with an aching, solipsistic lament:_ “You furnish decay with innocent hands / You furnish decay with polymer down / These feathers that bind yourself to itself / Will furnish decay with infinite strength”_.
Fuck knows what that means, frankly, but if there was ever an abiding tendency in screamo from At The Drive-In up, it’s singing crossword puzzle lyrics with an earnest conviction not regularly seen outside of the twinkle in a snake-handling Pentecostalist hillbilly’s eye. Or Mel Gibson drunkenly holding forth, whichever you prefer.
Of course, all of this sounds delectable. Tom’s vocals once again display his fine credentials as a falsetto singer and sound as polished and prismatic as an ice cave. The eerie intro soon gives way to predictable fireworks, blasting off into fuel-injected Mars Volta territory that combines jazzy complexity with math-rock intensity that’s unrivalled among their peers. Instruments fall in and out of step seemingly with every bar, while the vocal refrain is unceremoniously dumped and crowbarred back in at the end in dramatic fashion.
It’s not going to win them any new fans, and they could still do with a bona-fide ‘choon’ to satisfy the more rhythmically impoverished among us, but otherwise this is_ massive_, an ominous declaration of intent from the executive arm of the Leeds hi-hatocracy.
8Alex Denney's Score