Heston Rifle

Heston Rifle

Heston Rifle

What To Do at Time of Accident…

Ernest Jenning Record Co.

With a dizzying array of prog, doom, jazz signatures and math rock, New York’s Heston Rifle uses a mighty cauldron to stir up its batch of aural delights. While we’re now basking in the demonic, droning glow of Sunn O))) and standing with mouths agape at the dirge-y acrobatics of Pelican, Heston Rifle 86’s the shamanistic theater of the former and the 20-pedal wankery of the latter to give us a pretty impressive glimpse of what post-rock is today.

Indie fanboys might still be mourning the death of bands like Slint, but with tracks like the opening “Devices to Transcend Dreaming” and “A String of Dead Words,” this five-piece gives those sensitive chaps reason to wipe those tears. The woozy viola of the former gently sways underneath the off-kilter free-jazz drumming and six-string ferocity raining hell from above. The latter’s inclusion of cellists and violinists adds the perfect orchestration and heightened sense of drama when it erupts from subtle guitar toiling and shuffle into a double-bass heavy, power-chord maelstrom. Quiet-to-loud isn’t always HR’s MO, though. “Sarnand” devolves quickly from chainsaw metal into gypsy/no-wave exploration, and “Tris Babollsa” is melodic, cold fusion told through blasts of noise, exotica and somber strings.

The arrangements on the fully instrumental What to Do are sometimes disorienting enough to make it sound sloppy, but Heston Rifle is far from ham-fisted. Six tracks are lengthy and absorbing enough to leave you breathless, packed with enough vigor and volatility to make System of a Down’s sound seem like child’s play.

Ernest Jenning Recording Co.: ernestjenning.com

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