Tuesday 22 December 2015

Instrumental Interpretatons Part III: Instrumental (adj.) - A Series of Disagreements EP (Review)

By: Phil Weller

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 17/11/2015
Label: Art As Catharsis

This is finely concocted instrumental music. It paints a thousand pictures through the linguistic intricacies of their music, rendering the need for a singer futile.

“A Series of Disagreements” DD track listing:  

1). A Series of Disagreements
2). Fibonasty
3). The Nightmare of Adulthood

The Review:

Trying to follow the frantic, scattershot jazz meanderings of this Sydney trio is like chasing an excitable puppy around the park. A puppy that has just broken free from its lead and is relishing its new and empowering freedom; or alternatively it’s like trying to catch a fly with chopsticks. Either way, it’s bonkers.  

The three songs that make up ‘A Series of Disagreements’ are restless and delirious; they forage through a myriad of tempos, feels, atmospheres and guises in an instant. Structurally, something as ad hoc and disjointed as this should make for uncomfortable listening, yet there’s a gracefulness to their madness, a prevalent method to the way it never sits still or becomes either stagnated or predictable. 

Throughout the many plot twists, sub-plots, sub-sub-plots and schizophrenia tinted changes in direction which characterise the opening title track, they still manage to pierce a reoccurring theme into the composition. During serene calm, where the music floats atop soothing drum work and ethereal clean guitars, or during foot-to-the-floor metal revelry a la Mastodon, Tool and more, there is still a familiar melodic phrase lurking in there somewhere. At times its presence is subtle, it waits in the shadows. At others it is more abrasive and snaps at you like a Venus Fly Trap. But its omnipresence is what ties the song together and they do it so impeccably well. It adds a polish and a purpose to what is otherwise a song that is simply all over the place.

The title track sets the tone for the two tracks which follow, and this really is methodical madness at its finest. ‘Fibonasty’ is lighter, an airy groove breezing through its veins, while oddly but perfectly place seismic shifts see them temporarily shifting through the gears. It all lets guitarist Simon Dawes flaunt his wide ranging musical vocabulary with jazzy lead work which dances to his rhythm sections lively but not overblown foundation. It’s interspersed however, with some real guitar hero moments where he lets fly and produces some dextrous and scintillating solos.

Where ‘Fibonasty’ is light, however, ‘The Nightmare of Adulthood’ acts as the perfect counter weight. Aggressive, pounding and hammering through a selection box of time signature changes throughout, it’s as frantically off-kilter and garish as its title suggests. The jagged edges of the song and their smart use of textures create a sense of diversity keeps you on your toes and your interest piqued.

This is finely concocted instrumental music. It paints a thousand pictures through the linguistic intricacies of their music, rendering the need for a singer futile. Indeed, the heavy jazz leanings and their general resistance to conformation will make this EP hard to digest for some people, but for those who seek adventure and endangerment, something to drag you into its cosmic vitality and swallow you whole for a short while, then ‘A Series of Disagreements’ is begging for your attention.

“A Series of Disagreements” is available here

Band info: facebook