Botch were the last great inspirators. Like At the drive-in, Refused, Godspeed you! Black Emperor and many more before them, no one knew who the hell they were until their demise. However, since ending, aformentioned bands went on to much more recognition. Botch, 3 years after this, their swansong e.p, still remain a very untouched apon band. Even though half are now creating the same metal genious within clever pop songs with Minus the Bear, Botch are still a very unheard of band.
Botch were creative wizards. As a result they are the proud fathers of "Math-Metal" where bands like Dillinger Escape Plan have now taken over. Where alot of bands kept topping their works each time, At the drive-in, Refused, Botch, although following the same path, had TWO records that changed everything. Their second and final album "We are the Romans" is what showed everybody why they were such an important band and how they switched from, mis-understood noise merchants to creative geniouses.
However, this, their final e.p, topped up everything they stood for in 21 minutes. It showed their abilites to create, minmalistcally ('Spaim'), how to create noise within acceptable pop boundaries ('Japam'), create haunting ballands ('Afghamistam') and how to top it all off with one huge agressive jam session ('Micaragua').
Botch were also a band who always wanted to come up with creative song titles. Previous albums saw them make songs like "John Woo" and "Saint Mathew Returns to the Womb". But this time, the idea was to make one word titles which still fit the obscure sound of Botch. The result, six tracks taking the names of countries and replacing the "M"s with "N"s.
Just remember, this is not an immediate album, mainly because Botch were never an immediate band, that was partly the point of their existance, to change things.
Spaim [0:14] 4/5
The e.p opens with a very odd sounding guitar riff. It's recording technices sounds very dated, which fits perfectly with the wierd, minimalism of the slid, harmoniced guitar riff which repeats itself 4 times. It is in fact, an intro to 'Japam'
Japam [2:57] 5/5
Now this is more like it. Japam is a perfect example of the bands ability to creative soundscaped, technical guitar riffs, in fairly simple songs and to effortlessly change its direction whenever it desired. At first listen, you're not entirely sure if you like this, then you find your self at the chorus and it's killer riff, it just draws you in closer and closer from that point. The breakdown? A simple slowed up version of the chorus with a clean guitar and drums, until it comes back into a huge cresendo of all instruments doing their best to make conventional noise, a task rarely achieved until this point.
Framce [3:40] 4/5
Once again at this point, you're not entirely sure if your liking it. The first half of this song is based around a repeating guitar sound, and riffs being played around it, this is all apart of the plan as it seems. It soon kicks into a heavy, almost death esq riff and then suddenly flies back into the more spacey sounds it was at before. It then returns with guitar riffs being slid from on end to the other, pushing the boundaries further and further like they always did best.
Vietmam [3:59] 4/5
Another song that starts of with top heavy riffs, making plenty of textures to make your mouth water. it's not until the breakdown and the scream along lyrics of "So show me your strength!" where it turns into from a good song to a great song. It turns into a spaced out, riff heavy, almost stoner-metal collision. As one guitar plays, slow, heavy, churned out riffs, the other sliding it's strings to keep you alert. Then it's suddenly buliding up and up again. A fairly simple riff gets louder, drums accompany it as it reaches its way to the top until. Stop. And it's back to a palm muted version of where you began. This is music that keeps you on your toes, and all the better for it. You can't help but imagine the experiance of this band would be like.
Afgamistam [6:56} 5/5
Now this is special. After the last 10 minutes or so of constant riffage, suddenly, the album is turned completly on it's head by this, Afgamistam, a 7 minute journey through a fairly mellon collie sound, which again just keeps building. It starts with a fairly simple Guitar and Bass line, slow and sad. The vocals are also much more conventional here, screaming is all but banished from this song, as this emotional exploration of music takes place. You can't help but wonder where this is going when you lsiten either, after teh rest of the album being a fairly apt representation of the word 'heavy' suddenly, we're almost in a sad ballad. Even the lead guitar on this song plays fairly simple lines that fit perfectly with what we're hearing. Suddenly though. The song just turns to cutting out all expected instruments, and it turns into a piano, synth and violin instrumental, later layers with samples of a man describing a story. Eventually the sound is drowned out by a muffled alarm and the sound that surrounds it. Suddenly a distorted guitar kicks straight back in making as much nosie as possible. Suddenly...
Micaragua [3:58] 5/5
...kicks in and about about 50 seconds of guiatr noise, The drums start a huge drum solo to kick this song off. Soon the drum solo ends, and we are left to enjoy, or rather hate, a very bitter, guitar heavy, thrash song. The guitar basically spends it time ringing out very low power chords, then changing them to high distored notes. Sometimes lyrcis weave in and out of the guitars, however the lyrics are fairly minimal in this song. It is, if nothing else a total head-*** rush, particuarly after the deep soul of the previous song, and was the only way Botch could bow out.
This is a stunning piece of work. To cram so much into an e.p is a task simply too tough for most, which is probably why Botch decided to end it this way. A special album by a special band who changed everything, wether you understand it or not is totally upto you.