Label: Big Scary Monsters Release date: 06/09/10 Link: Myspace Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify “You can buy our new album tonight and be the first people to say you preferred the first one!” the members of Adebisi Shank tell the crowd from the stage at one of their album launch shows. Ahh, the finest of hip pastimes – saying you liked the older stuff more. It’s rawer, y’see. Probably recorded on a smaller budget, before the band were clouded by whatever it is clouds bands and makes them put out records that aren’t up to the standards of their earlier work. But, alas, Adebisi Shank have robbed us of this most noble of elitist arts. A thousand curses upon thee, Adebisi Shank, for putting out a record that not only blows your first out of the water, but also sinks the musical battleship of pretty much every other album that’s come out so far this year. Yeah, let’s get this point out of the way early on: This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank is easily one of the best records of the year. For the past couple of years, math rock has been a growing buzz genre and, like any buzz genre, it needs innovators to do something a little different, keep things fresh, stop everything from becoming a parody of itself. This Is The Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, released in 2008, gave the genre a nice little fuzzy, noisy kick that probably not enough people outside of Ireland noticed. Now, two years on, the Second Album is the band stepping up their game, finding themselves and setting a new benchmark. Whilst the debut was really not much more than a brilliantly noisy curiosity, clocking in way below thirty minutes and with no real standout tracks to rope you in, the follow-up bristles with personality and bursts with energy. No other band sounds anything like this right now. A few get close, but none are really in the class that Adebisi Shank have created for themselves. The album pounds to life with ‘International Dreambeat’, almost robotic in its relentless weighty bass thumps as guitars sound off like fanfares. Things don’t slow down as the album careens through the klaxon guitar screech and roaring crowd noise of ‘Masa’, featuring the first use of the album’s frantic vocodered robot vocals which are utterly incomprehensible but add an amazing extra dimension that instrumental bands tend to lack. It’s ‘Genki Shank’ where the album really hits its peak, though, with an intro that swaggers along with a seriously cocky bass rattle backed by crashing drums that bubble underneath some seriously mind-blowing guitar acrobatics. It’s impossible to hear this whole album, and ‘Genki Shank’ in particular, without wanting to dance, run around and break things, punch bad people in the face, conquer the world with this record as your soundtrack. It is pure psych-up material. After the first few tracks, the album clearly sinks in to a pattern, but it’s a magic-eye picture of a pattern that will send your head in to a spin and not give your feet a rest. Too many albums, even in supposedly ‘experimental’ and ‘alternative’ genres, have a tendency to be generic or formulaic, even if the formula is supposedly a bit ‘out there’. Adebisi Shank have worked wonders, shattered boundaries and made a really fucking good record. Photobucket