August 24, 2006

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From a Second Story Window, Delenda
Metal Blade Records, 2006

In metal more than other genres, a band's level of respect is predicated on Stupid Instrument Tricks — violin bows applied to Les Pauls, melodic passages made from feedback and pinged harmonics, and stun guitars parroting the sounds of everything from chain saws to city high tension wires being pulled down by Godzilla. FASSW adds to the cosmic toolbox a reverse-chord technique that effects carpet-bombing in "Soft Green Fields," and although that alone may not help the Beavises forget Dimebag it makes for an above-par calc-metal study when juxtaposed with their riffing, which is pretty brutal when it isn't spamming the works with that jazz-chords-on-PCP silliness that makes the genre so, ah, rebellious. Similar to (if much less out on a limb than) Dillinger Escape Plan in many areas, their sack of soundbites contains fast-forward double-bass drumming coupled with glubbery Swamp Thing vocals (Nile pilferage, in other words), Mastodon-type panoplies and a few bars of emo. B-

— Eric W. Saeger


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