Extra Life
Made Flesh


4.5
superb

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
March 29th, 2010 | 16 replies | 10,500 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Extra Life creates another unique and complicated record.

Describing any relations to Extra Life's sound is a pointless task; to attempt to break down the various influences of this group would be like trying to transpose a painting into pixels. The band's previous record 'Secular Works' set a precedent for 'Made Flesh' as some of the best avant-garde music in a city that has recently been highlighted by artists like Zs and Dirty Projectors. Perhaps this makes sense, with Charlie Looker involved in both of those groups, as well as numerous others. "Secular Works" obtained its sound from lengthy, sparse arrangements that were rhythmically engaging, but it was maybe too difficult in its melodic content. "Made Flesh" sort of obtains the obvious, with the rhythms taking a back seat to more melodic content. Previously released 'Black Hoodie' is rearranged, featuring saxophones and a structure similar to that of Dave Longstreth's more accessible work. 'The Ladder' acts as a more immediate and concise 'I'll Burn' (a highlight from "Secular Works") enabling time for midi wind instruments, an a cappella section and numerous violin sounds. 'Head Shrinker', the album's first single, is bridged with a saxophone solo that sounds tweaked with echo and delay.

The truth is that this record works because of how intricate it is. Every listen is highlighted by some new little part to digest - subtle violins in 'Easter', backing melodies in 'One of Your Whores', each track has so many different layers that they are constantly surprising. "Made Flesh" also has managed to adjust Extra Life's sound to make sense alongside the more avant-pop coming out of New York at the moment. Not necessarily part of the Grizzly Bear or Dirty Projectors scene; rather they seem like the opposite of that coin. Every layered vocal or guitar piece is somewhat off, dissonant, or ugly. That isn't to say that Extra Life's music isn't pretty or well put together, instead they focus on how tones collide with each other and the subtlety of dynamic shifts. 'Made Flesh' has put Extra Life into the stratosphere of other highbrow avant-garde rock groups such as Kayo Dot and Time of Orchids. All unequal in their uniqueness and constantly pushing the lines of what genre and popular music is.



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Chart.
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related reviews

Secular Works

Comments:Add a Comment 
NortherlyNanook
March 29th 2010



1285 Comments


nice

i liked secular works a decent amount so i'll definitely check this out

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 29th 2010



4950 Comments


couldn't get into this at all :[

DFelon204409
Emeritus
March 30th 2010



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As with their first album, it is hard to explain the radness.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2010



15728 Comments


yeah their first album I found simply irritating

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

pixiesfanyo
March 30th 2010



1222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fools.

Skyler
March 30th 2010



1084 Comments


I enjoy this band from an instrumental perspective, especially stuff like "I Don't See It That Way." The dude's voice is just irritating to me though.

SnackaryBinx
March 30th 2010



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can enjoy this record, especially most of The Ladder and Easter, but just some things that are done I just can't get into

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2010



6092 Comments


Something tells me I will love this. Great work Jared, you always used to recommend the most interesting stuff.

Zip
March 30th 2010



5312 Comments


God fucking damn it what is with all this indie bullshit on the front page

Skyler
March 30th 2010



1084 Comments


lol

P13
March 30th 2010



1327 Comments


secular works >>> made flesh

kitsch
March 31st 2010



5107 Comments


enjoyed secular works, will check this

Mendigo
April 5th 2010



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just saw this featured at the RYM-frontpage, excellent review of what might be the best album of the year so far.
just one minor nitpicking: you mean the band Zs. Zu are a jazzcore group from Italy. both are awesome bands ;)

EnCrypt.
May 2nd 2010



882 Comments


Cool mask bro

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 11th 2010



3743 Comments


well. this is certainly strange, pretty interesting but not sure how much i really like it

Adash
November 8th 2010



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album, with the exception of black hoodie, is astounding



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