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We Won Battles, We Won The War

BattlesSweat was flying as the smart kids gathered for a math rock kind of Friday at Studio B in Brooklyn. To be fair, math rock is only a convenient label for Battles, whose experimental post-rock is as intricately precise as any classical concerto. Either way, the band generated a number of priceless reactions as fans tried to figure out why their headbanging kept getting out-of-sync with the music. (Hint: constant switches in time signature.)

Appropriately, drummer John Stanier was placed dead center, not only on stage, but also in the mix, and his thundering bass drum and 5-foot high crash cymbal announced each new song's arrival. Meanwhile, Tyondai Braxton deftly kept the band's sound in motion -- bass in one hand, MacBook in the other -- pausing only to grab a mic and lay down some of the winding, chipmunk vocals that pepper the album.

Battles cruised through its set (including the mosh pit-inducing single "Atlas") in a little over an hour, coming back on stage for an all-too-brief encore before the lights came back on and it was once again time for the indie kids and metalheads to go their separate ways.

July 25, 2007 | Permalink


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