Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Legion of Two – Riffs [Planet Mu]

Mu are always pushing something out that’s a bit different and Legion of Two really are on a different tip they blend electronics and noise in an almost post-rock like fashion with live drumming that gives a more rock edge to the electronica stylings, this is the good shit. The group consist of electronic producer Alan O’Boyle who has had releases for Mu and Rotters Golf Club amongst others and stick man David Lacey who’s been at the drums for years working with many people. Riffs is full of slow brooding experimental rock music that’s full of power and energy.

There really is a menacing dark atmosphere to this album the opener ‘Starbound’ growls and twists into huge deranged shapes before ‘And Now We Wait’ takes off with a funkier edge; the live drums really add swing to the tracks. Droning electronics sounding like long lost and re-tweaked dark techno classics make blistering shapes of noise, full of distortion. There is a controlled feel to all of this though, sure it sounds evil but its not evil unleashed with no boundaries. The tempo keeps everything brooding and focused, imagine a zombie film as the creatures step to you at a shuffle getting closer and closer; the tension builds and just gets more terrifying as it goes on.

Along with the dark swagger, Legion Of Two show they have an unhealthy appetite for bass, ‘Palace (dub)’ and ‘Legion Of Two’ show this off as good as any tracks. Pulsing gnarly bass tones, trudge under some ear splitting rings and bleeps, as an unhealthy growl grows in-between. There are even riffs as you would expect from the album title, low slung dirty head banging riffs and all without the aid of a guitar… as far as I can hear anyway. The whole album may use old guitar pedals and reverb units but that’s just to filter the electronics into disturbing shapes.

It’s not all doom, sludge and dirge though; Riffs has a healthy slice of melody all the way through it. From oriental style twangs to ethereal pads that shine like something from out of space. There is a really mesmerising flow to the songs, like when ‘Turning Point’ breaks down into melody and high hats before the almighty bass and kick drop back in. Things can get really subtle as well like on the almost dreamy, ‘Handling Noise’.

Probibly the final string to Legion Of Two’s bow is the deep dubbed out sounds that can be found on the two closing tracks, ‘It Really Does Take Time’ and ‘Cast Out Your Demon’ the echo chambers and reverbs are out in full force here and they create some beastly walls of noise in the process.

The dark side of rock and electronics meet on Riffs to create a truly wonderful piece of work, Legion Of Two are a compelling group making a noise all of their own.

Legion Of Two - Riffs [Planet Mu]

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