Noise rock, Math Rock, Indie
Polvo, Adebisi Shank, You Slut!
Hold on to your hats, Banned Books from Philadelphia has released an impressive full length album. It's chock-full of quirky garage styled noise rock with a ton of Math rock influences. As maddening or heart attack inducing as noise rock can be, Banned Books do a nice job at containing their sound. The music is not to erratic nor are they confined, they definitely experiment without going overboard.
On first impression they reminded us of The Shins on crack, the falsetto vocals are reminiscent of James Mercer of The Shins or an erratic Jose Gonzalez, (If you’re unfamiliar with Jose Gonzalez, look up the band Junip). “Fuselage” is a great opening cut with surprisingly smooth flow. The math rock styled guitar and the lead vocals feed off each other very well. The start/stop action on “Armor” starts to show the band driving towards a more irregular style of rock. The well-timed cowbell is a great touch and the last minute is a blast with terrific change ups and not knowing where the song will take you is quite stimulating. “Everything I’ll Ever Need” is a soft lo-fi song that wanders around aimlessly, gearing us up for the energetic instrumental “Knave” which has technical math rock written all over it.
As the album progresses, the band continues on their herky-jerky path of garage-styled noise meets math rock with “The Time It Takes to Make a Move” where you will find infectious bass work and “Crown Fragment,” which introduces some sporadic background vocals. On the track “The Excursionist” we treated to some math and jazz-like arrangements, it sort of has an improvised feel about it, and this is the strength of the band, their songs travel through so many avenues. The last two songs “Dance” and “Henries” are no different, they continue to hit us with their off-beat signature style.
We really enjoy this album as Banned Books keeps the listener on their toes. If you’re a fan of math or noise rock, do not pass on this one. Also, be sure to check out their previous releases, they're quite entertaining as well. - 4/4/2016
Standout Tracks: Fuselage, The Excursionist, Armor