This album from elusive free-form/post-rock trio Daemien Frost is a sparingly produced, yet impressively full-sounding excursion into the land of recent Chicago math-rock. Neither as eccentrically diverse as Tortoise may be at times, nor as slowly unfolding as the moody Mogwai, they are a little bit of both while still creating music you won’t find elsewhere.
Rather punkish in approach, Daemien Frost base their songs on mostly repetitive structures, turning the listener’s attention towards the excitement created on top of the backing tracks. As such, Dave Layde’s guitar is pivotal to the band’s sound, carefully exploring the borders of the fundamental song structures, and frantically soloing/screeching on top of them.
The real star, however, isn’t even formally a member of the band from what I gather. Diamuid MacDiarmada provides saxophone and clarinet on four of the seven songs on the album, shining on every occasion he’s given and easily taking the band to the next level, more often than not in exciting interplay with Layde. With a complete disrespect for the unwritten post-rock rule that underplaying is good for you, the pair thankfully refuse to step back, instead gearing each other up, adding momentum as they go along, until every aspect of the song has been covered, every angle explored.
Dark and brooding, furious and raving, Daemien Frost have made a truly exciting album, one that should see them gain respect from an audience willing to approach them with open minds and, indeed, a tendency to rawk.