Battles – Mirrored (2007)

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Three years into Battles’ existence, it had only issued a single and two EPs — until this, their long-awaited debut album. The wait was more than worth it.

Where the EPs hinted at what was to come, they suffered a bit from a band struggling to define themselves. Mirrored proved that Battles had discovered who they are: the bastard children of Animal Collective and Don Caballero. With guitarist/vocalist Tyondia Braxton (son of avant garde sax great Anthony Braxton) and drummer John Stanier (ex-Helmet, current-Tomahawk) on board, it’s easy to see why such a sound would emerge.

It’s just not so easy to imagine when listening again to those EPs, which sounded more like a lost Tortoise.

Now, the initial single “Atlas,” with its nonsensical, pitch-shifted vocals, glitchy synth, and driving, pounding drums, was the kind of freak-out, weirdo song that leaves listeners divided, for sure, but it sure made an impression — and those that liked it, loved it. Serious fun.

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Tom Johnson
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