June 5, 2008

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Pendulum, In Silico
Atlantic Records, May 13
The right stuff if you’ve been pondering personal growth away from hard-rock and toward nu-rave but aren’t quite prepared to suffer through a Datarock record. Your who-are-these-guys-anyway instincts are working properly — this is the first U.S. release for this Australian crew, whose fame stems from last year’s Hold Your Color, a big smash in drum n bass circles around the UK and such. As de facto drum n bass leaders, guys like Deiselboy and Goldie have saturated their sound with so much down-tempo and plain-Jane-rock that the DnB genre is fast getting lost in a vacuum, and this will further blur things. Album opener “Show Down” drowns its spazzy cymbal-sizzle with car-chase guitars out of Wired All Wrong’s playbook, Rob Swire’s vocals ensuring the accessibility of the package through his being a dead-ringer for Offspring singer Dexter Holland. A lot of debatably dissimilar Crystal Method/Front Line Assembly/Prodigy-inspired raving ensues, the floorboards pegged only once with grade-A drum n bass rinseout “Midnight Runner.” Shutdown track “The Tempest” rears back with a Middle Eastern theme before delivering some bouncy stompage, sheer Offspring 2.0. A-Eric W. Saeger