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The Martial Arts
Hello Sir Records

A literal barrage of guitar and drums pounds my senses, cacophonic and precise. Intensity forces me to listen closer, and I sit back and just let it soak in. By track three I am sold; there is something here.

First off, let me disclaim Cinemechanica is not for the weak palette, they broach a specific genre that combines math-rock and hardcore. Like Drive Like Jehu before them, they thumb their nose at musical convention and just create their music in a chaotic atmosphere. Like Q And Not U they take turn-on-a-dime guitar interactions to new levels by foregoing rote structures, but still producing amazingly complex interchanges. Like Handsome they push the drive to the edge of reason, but maintain enough focus to make it work.

These guys are just talented, weaving in and out of melodies and tempos effortlessly. As heavy handed as they get, they show equal grace on delicate themes changing between multiple times within one song without the normal wear-and-tear on the listener. What makes it all work is the superbly divine hand of production working the pieces into a coherent mass, light and airy here and thick as lead there. Both guitars work like Siamese twins, intertwined yet showing distinct personality that draw the main lines through the songs. Just when they get too dysfunctional, they pull back into a meaningful motif that sets up the next big change. Bass and drums are the closest thing to a constant here. Bass perfectly maintains a presence, which is amazing in itself, but on top of that derives some seriously awesome lines that more bassists should be playing. Drums correctly shape the momentum of the material, quickly alternating concepts of fast and slow with seeming ease, although I know better. Vocals, while sticking to a strictly one-level stance, move the music with energy and determination creating a perfectly blended piece.

The give and take is what ultimately takes my breath away as the individuals sacrifice for the whole; instruments disappear and rematerialize almost seamlessly, creating succinct gaps or moments of clarity that are used nicely. Even the "instrumental" songs are worthy in their own right for being driving and interesting, creating a fully formed album. Overall, these guys are smart and know what they are doing, and … they need to be heard.


Track listing:
1) Yen
2) Antsinjapants
3) Brain Tarp
4) I'm Tired Of Paul McCartney
5) Take Me To The Hospital
6) Get Outta Here Hitler
7) Ruins Of Karnac
8) Bruckheimer
9) Orlandu

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