Review Summary: A solid, chaotic mathcore outing from Long Island, NY band Car Bomb
Chaotic sounding music has always been a difficult premise for many bands to actually grasp. Were they to be chaos in true essence, you wouldn't actually have music, as music requires at its most basic level some structure and coherence. So for a band to pull off and succeed with such a concept is a daring feat and an incredible accomplishment. With that all said and done, Car Bomb manages to be one of those bands. Car Bomb has not necessarily taken the throne of this position, Ion Dissonance's "Breathing is Irrelevant" has already claimed that so far, but Car Bomb has succeeded in creating at least a solid outing in this field of chaotic music.
So if the music is intentionally disheveled and disorganized, can one really hold a standard for this? Yes, it is possible, but the standard has to be at the level for this type of music. This cannot be compared to other fields of structured music like say, technical death metal, but the general stance is that this type of music must be both aggressive and coherent in its dissonance. Car Bomb's music does this well, as the entire album is a flurry of quick drum beats, frenetic guitars, and harshly screamed vocals.
The vocals really do take center stage here, with Michael Dafferner growling, screaming, and whispering throughout the album's 11 tracks. His vocal range doesn't really change throughout "Centralia," Dafferner sticks with a mid range howl for most of the record, but does mix it up occasionally with some whispered parts such as in M^6 or a slight distortion on Pieces of You. As stated above, the guitars and drums don't really follow any pattern, and fly all over the place in all their chaotic glory. Accompanied with the vocals, they absolutely create an atmosphere of violence and mayhem. The closest approximation to the guitar's sound would be from the likes of Meshuggah or Dillinger Escape Plan with their transitioning time signatures and almost random riffage. The same can be said for the drums, although they almost stay close to styles akin to death metal.
What prevents me from rating this album higher is the band's general lack of style change. While the vocals do shift here and there, it's few and far between, leading to a generally mundane sound. "Centralia" really has no progression in its chaos, and while bands like Gaza do the same thing, they manage to stay above because they maintain a central theme. Car Bomb doesn't, so this album feels more like just an angry rant about nothing than an angry statement against religion.
Flaws aside, this is a solid outing from Long Island based Car Bomb, and while the intended chaos does manage to create decent music, it still falls flat due to its lack of direction. However, if the lack of any real direction doesn't bother you, than definitely pick this record up. The band is relatively young, so if they could pull off this sound the first time, their second album coming out later this year should hopefully improve their sound.