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Battles

Warp; Release date: May 22, 2007

The Deal: Math rock group featuring ex-Helmet drummer John Stanier, releases debut LP.

The Good: More than the timing is unique with this group -- math rock is known for their unique time signatures. Instead of 4/4 like most music, the band uses 7/8 or 11/8, etc. Stanier's drum kit has one cymbal extended at arm's length above him, and the lyrics often sound digitized. The beat usually remains constant, but you'll hear layers and layers over it -- computerized and vocalized. It's almost like a mutant version of Frank Zappa has come back from the future. From the rhythmic, such as "Atlas," to the sped up, see "Ddiamondd," Battles shows its musical knowledge through performance and its songwriting.

The Bad: It's great to have some songs that are longer than seven minutes, but I usually question the ones that clock in at under one minute.

The Verdict: Lots of points for style and originality. Check them out at The Milestone on June 14.

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