Brave The Elements

Asian Man

Wow! I am so thoroughly pleased at how wonderful a recording this is. Imagine if Karate, June Of ’44, and the rhythm section of The Police had gotten together to form a fun side project; the result would be similar to the sounds on Brave The Elements. To be frankly honest, this one has reigned king over my CD player since I got it, several days ago.

Think back to the first time you heard a Drive Like Jehu album… or possibly the first time Fugazi. There’s an indescribable feeling of happiness, kind of like “Wow, there are people out there that are just as weird as I am!” I had that same feeling from the opening moments of this six-song EP from Colossal. It’s one of those types of music that, rather than being easily described by referencing other bands (they sound like “Rodan,” for example), form the kind of album that will be used as a benchmark. They have so many unique elements. The drums here sound big and loud, kind of like when Steve Albini or Bob Weston produces a record. The drums are played with poly-rhythms, creating a laid back feel that makes the listener sway. The guitars aren’t really distorted, yet they are aggressive and simultaneously shimmering, much in the way that are Karate’s guitars on their first album. The bass isn’t grainy, but it’s very thumping and powerful. The vocals are quite warm and welcoming, half spoken and half sung, in a low tone. The vocals actually remind me of Robert Suchan from Koufax, before he started singing in a higher tone. What remains constant throughout the record is a strange, almost maddening sense of urgency. It’s like the seconds before an impending explosion, but stretched out over 25 minutes, without the explosion ever actually happening.

Many indie purists will call this math rock, first and foremost, with a tinge of jazz. Comparisons to Karate will abound, while others will compare them to a lesser known band by the name of Meringue. Anyone listening closely, though, will realize that this is an incredible record, and it is one that begs to be heard. If you buy only one record this month, you will not be sorry if your money is spent on this one. Fantastic!

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