Singles Breaking Up (Vol 1)

...Migraine sufferers, go no further....

Singles Breaking Up (Vol 1)

6 / 10 Or, if you will, the post-rock 'Masterplan'. It's debatable whether the world needs any more ugly, psychotically intense metal-math-rock than [a]Don Caballero[/a]'s first three albums have already supplied, but here it is.

[a]Singles[/a] is a collection of jagged sundries spanning the Pittsburgh band's six-year career - tracing their evolution from anxious, punk-inflected noisecore to more sophisticated polyphonic experimentalism. Migraine sufferers, go no further.

Their method involves layering tetchy guitar and syncopated bass to create unwieldy sonic geometrics. Shuddering with perpetual transmutation, one moment the rhythms teeter menacingly like wonky scaffolding, the next, they're fluid as molten lava. Even the earliest material here - six tracks which made up their first two singles - boast an affinity for preposterous time changes and atonal riffs.

DC's 'grunge' phase, represented by three excellent tracks recorded by Steve Albini, sees a move toward catchier hooks and a more gracious pace. And by the time we've reached their contemporary work, a new, relaxed, playfulness ripples underneath their viciously dense assault.

As a sort of outtake logbook, [a]Singles[/a] is irritating, but curiously compelling. "We'd forgotten that we'd ever written half of these," [a]Don Caballero[/a] state in the press release. It will be much more difficult to forget ever having heard them.

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