Album Review: BATTLES – La Di Da Di

La Di Da Di

Released 18th September 2015

Battles_LaDiDaDi_CoverWords: Jimmy Gallagher
When you are practically willing to snap your colleagues quills in efforts of shameless sabotage and beg the editor in undignified desperation for a chance at reviewing this album. It is outlines the importance of the band in question. When I heard Battles were bringing out a new album, the former acts of unethical malice did not weigh heavy on my conscience.

The problem is, now I have been granted the privilege of reviewing La Di Da Di, where in heavens name do I begin?

Battles are not normal. They conjure all realms of psychosis dreams, Luu Le sounds as if Battles have come to plunder their woodwind and brass with machetes and knuckle dusters. The trio’s savage sounds are a mix of software and hardware as technology bolsters the noise in alarms and explosions

Dot Com falls in around our ears, steady at first as if it were a boulder dislodging from its placement but soon the momentum gathers and the snare and cymbal are lichens from its primitive beginnings. It cuts through all in its path as the oddities of the synth patterns bellow and wail. As in all of the tracks on this record the rhythm is a constant for all to dissolve and evolve from, Dot Com is reminiscent of Orbital’s Sad But True in that respect.

Battles are imagery, only an idiot or a genius would describe this album in anything other than visions or feelings. To describe the technicalities or attempt to explain the process would be madness. One thing is for sure. It is experimental, trial without the error.

Cacio E Pepe is adorably distorted and wriggles its synthetic sprawl in and out of the atmosphere that Battles so skillfully create. Based around a tinny steel drum loop, the guitars have lofty resonance as if Eddie Hazel was back from the dead with his Maggot Brain chords.

Flora-Fauna is a prog jam of clashing drum and keys sumasualting each other in a sound circus. It speeds up and slows without regard for time signature rules and ends arrogantly abruptly.

Megatouch is experimental even for Battles standards. It is a nuclear fallout that somehow flutters above the ground zero that is has destroyed before condensing into a stream of uniform untidiness. It rains down an angry lesson of bleeps and sirens to all who remain.

In Tricentennial the brass band sound seems to echo out of the depths of a cave. Its flourishing key bleeps dance around a hauntingly bleak guitar riff. It is a score to a terrible crisis, yet is all consuming and devouring to our senses.

In Battles last outing – Gloss Drop – it was deservedly critically acclaimed for its elements of shock and surprise and it is no different in La Di Da Di. Non-Violence is arguably the magnum opus within this collection of fine sound installations. It is an intergalactic prog rock symphony of majestic monotony and agoraphobic audaciousness.

La Di Da Di is a vision from the New York three piece and concedes no quarter to predictability, they have conceived a full fat record that magnifies Battles fidgety foresight of musical possibility and have pushed the boundaries a touch more with this latest album.

Watch the Video for The Yabba here:

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