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Battles Mirrored Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

By rights, this band should not exist.

P J Lucas 2007

It's long been my conviction that writing about music is one of the most widespread follies of modern times.

Each month, hundreds of thousands of words about music are written by people wearing converse trainers. What does it mean? Why bother describing music? It's like, er… driving a bus about 1930's Russian folkdancing. Makes no sense. This ludicrousness of this practice has rarely been more apparent when it comes to music by Battles.

I've been trying to write this review for weeks, rolling around on the floor of my house in a mindless fog, and the only purpose I can discern for writing WORDS about SOUNDS is that one or two unsuspecting music-lovers may discover THE BEST BAND ON EARTH TODAY.

Battles are an idea of a band, a bizzare dream that Steve Reich had one night after munching a bit too much Roquefort while watching Yes: Live From The House Of Blues. They are an unsolicited gift; a weird rupture in the fabric of everything. Music this experimental shouldn't be fun. Music this cool shouldn't be joyful. Music this weird should not be danceable. Music as unclassifiable, bafflingly complex and structural as this should not be so popular and inclusive.

By rights, this band should not exist.

I suspect that Battles are not actually a bunch of reasonably well-known US muso veterans collaborating on a new and strange project involving pointlessly high crash cymbals, advanced quantum math rock and disturbing vocal samples - but in fact a platoon of hipster time travellers sent back to demonstrate what music sounds like in the future.

You know I went see Battles last night and my mind snapped. I vowed to never pick up a guitar again. I will never wield a laptop in anger. I will give up my designs on alternative pop and simply bask in the savage sun-like glitter and stumbling crunch of Battles. I will call my granny. I will eat a banana every day. I will give thanks to Ganesh, elephant-headed god of crazy sh*t, just for being allowed to live in this dreadful hub of discord on the spindling edge of the 21st Century. I will swear allegiance and wear my merch-stall BTTLS t-shirt until it literally rots off my back.

If you want some words about this music, here are a few: Geological, Cellular, Cheeky, Architectural, Ecstatic, Geomagnetic, Intrepid, Vectorized, Hypnotic, Narcotic, Rubbery, Stupefacient.

Thank you. Can I get back to rolling around on the floor now please?

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