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What's Real

Les Angles Morts
What's Real?
(Blue Skies Turn Black)

There's really no two ways about it, Les Angles Mortes plays some seriously skronky music. Upon first look at their four-person lineup, it seems fairly standard as there are two members who play guitars, one who plays bass, and two who add drums. Then, you look behind each name and realize that each member also plays synths. 'Aha,' you say, 'it must sound like a multi-limbed, rhythmic, noisy freakout.' To that I answer, "yes my friend, indeed it does."

Two members of the group were originally with The Arcade Fire (even appearing on that groups first EP), but parted ways after realizing their musical ideas weren't heading in the same direction. They soon met up with two others who shared the same vision and set about creating soundtracks to films that they create themselves. So, while scenes of neon puppet battles, travelogues, and other crazy footage takes place behind them, the group belts out short blasts of analogue cacophany that falls somewhere between Lightning Bolt and the backing music for The Unicorns.

Opening track "What's Real Summer" actually opens with bubbly melodies and some light drums before crashing headfirst through a breakneck rockout. About halfway through, the track peels back the layers until only harsh, buzzing synths, getting progressively more noisy before letting loose with one final romp. "Kaleidoscope" is even more noisy, dropping what sounds like circuit-bent keytar over an absolutely raucous rhythm section and more harsh synth squalls. It's one of the best tracks on the album and stops and turns on a dime in several places, working dramatic dynamic changes that make it stick out.

Several short tracks on the album find the group experimenting with everything from proggy jazz ("S2S") to breezy west-coast acoustics ("Waking Up A Maze") and even straightup psychedelic hardcore (the insane "Portals"). Of course, a good portion of the album could probably fall under the latter description, as their weird synthscapes collide with pummelling drums and almost math-rock like song structures in several places. This definitely isn't one you'll be blasting every day, but given the right mood, their noisy synth spazz rock could easily be the perfect backdrop to your frantic day.

Rating: 7