Crash is the collective noun for a group of rhinoceroses. But leaving zoology aside, Crash of Rhinos is also an aptly-named five-piece from Derby. Apt because their music can only really be described in such colossal terms. Comprising of two guitarists, two bass players and a drummer so dexterous and hard-hitting you're surprised to learn it's just one fairly unassuming-looking man behind the onslaught, this is a band that goes out of its way to sound big. All five members don't so much sing to you as bellow at you, forming a choir of men desperate for you to understand that they really mean it.

The band is made up of ex-members of The Jesus Years and The Little Explorer and they pick up where their previous bands had left off, albeit with a weightier, less intricate sound. Distal kicks off with 'Big Sea', a six-minute barrage of riffs, arpeggios, ADHD drumming and old-school emo off-mic gang vocals. It's an aural equivalent of being caught in one of those crazy American hailstorms where the falling ice shatters car windscreens. Overwhelming, yes. Exhilarating, definitely.

If I were to try to place the band's sound on the musical map, the closest I can come is to imagine Jupiter-era Cave In; only instead of filtering Pink Floyd through Giant's Chair, they're playing the songs of defunct Leeds outfit And None of Them Knew They Were Robots via Hella. But the truth is this band is very difficult to pin down. There are obvious elements of punk, old-style emo, hardcore, post-hardcore, post-rock, math-rock, but eventually I realise I'm just reeling off genres, and that's no fun for anyone.

Not to say that this record is for everyone. A criticism that can be levelled at the band is that the songs are a bit impenetrable. There are no real moments of intimacy, and not much by way of singalong opportunity. Having lyrics bellowed almost as a series of slogans might not sit comfortably with a lot of listeners, there isn't much of what would be considered traditional songwriting.

But Distal's power cannot be argued with. 'Gold on Red' is a standout, mixing awkward riffs and rolling drums during the first half of the song's eight-minute duration. The song's latter section combines building guitar melodies, strained vocal lines and more of those incredible drums to give the album its epic centre-piece. What the band does well throughout is to not resort to cranking the distortion as a means of adding dynamism, instead using the drums and bass to give the songs their heaviness. Album closer 'Asleep' is similarly urgent and intense, before signing off with a series of lullaby-like picked guitars.

This record will probably go largely unheralded, given its release on a small Italian label. But for anyone seeking something new and exciting from guitar-based music, I heartily recommend it. Distal contains some phenomenal musicianship, without ever slipping into proggish self-indulgence, and deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

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