Category: Battles

Battles – Mirrored

ARTIST: Battles                                 220px-Battlesmirrored

TITLE:  Mirrored

YEAR RELEASED: 2007

CHART ACTION: #7 Heatseekers, #26 Indie, #70 UK

SINGLES: Atlas, Tonto

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not by name

LINEUP: David Knopka, John Stanier, Ian Williams, Tyondai Braxton

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Still complicated, complex, intriguing, but now with vocals of a sort.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This album comes on the scene after the bands’ two EPs, and instead of being all instrumental, the band uses vocals (mostly treated, nothing really straight forward) from Tyondai Braxton.

The song “Atlas”, with its video, proved to be a success and they also got a great live reputation for their work in presenting their precise, methodical pieces to the crowds. The entire album is a little more song (and less sound) oriented than their other works.

Battles moved the profile of ‘math rock’ and its possibilities forward, and proved there was an audience for this music if it was presented in a way – not that Battles compromised on this album at all.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Drummer John Stanier was in Helmet in the 90’s.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A bonus track in Japan.

GRADE: A-: The loops, patterns and rhythms are still intriguing, but now seem to be more song-oriented, which is a plus.

Battles – EP C / B EP

ARTIST: Battles                                                      220px-Battles_-_EP_C_B_EP_-2006-

TITLE:  EP C / B EP

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: TRAS

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None

LINEUP: David Knopka, John Stanier, Ian Williams, Tyondai Braxton

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Complex, complicated, mostly instrumental experimental rock that utilizes loops, repeated patterns and effects. 220px-Battles_-_EP_C_-2004-

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The term ‘math rock’ is an interesting one (said in a Minnesota way), but it almost works for Battles. The band does take a cold and calculating view toward music and their work.

This is the compilation of two separate EP releases into one album, with no real duplication between tracks. Heck, no real titles for the most part either, with tracks name “B+T”, IPT2”, etc. The music is rigid at times, but complicated in its rhythms and patterns.

Battles is a band that is trying to challenge and push forward in their own style. This means it’s not always easy listening, nor compelling. But challenging is always good in of itself.220px-Battles_-_B_EP_-2004-

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Both of the EPs were released in 2004, but I’m treating them as one release here.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B: I get what they’re doing. Casual fans may not want to dive in right here, but it is intriguing.