Review Summary: The joy of motion.
It's been touched on before, but I cannot deny the connection I hear between Third Album
and old-school video game soundtracks. No, this isn't a chiptune album, though it wears its electronic influences on its sleeves -- the genre tag says "math rock," but there's a bit of a synthpop vibe. Adebisi Shank recalls early gaming classics with its sense of lighthearted adventure, the confident sound of a band with immense talent and no need to show it off.
Adebisi Shank doesn't quite bow to verse-chorus structures, but doesn't drop ideas as soon as they're presented either. Opener "World in Harmony" covers a lot of ground musically, but it never sounds like aimless noodling, with a thunderous introduction and a slew of memorable melodies. "Turnaround" throws together a few joyous synth lines that wouldn't be out of place in a Mega Man game, and the impressively technical drumming recalls the band's mathy roots without sounding out of place.
AS seems to thrive in near-chaos, with swirling synthesizers and guitars soaring above the maelstrom of the rhythm section. And yet, the pulse is clear and easy to find, guiding the listener through the madness. While much of the album is an adrenaline rush, "Mazel Tov" slows things down but still leaves the listener smiling thanks to its swelling saxophones and funky basslines. "Sensation" recalls early Sonic the Hedgehog with its driving percussion and glitchy synths. Speaking of Sonic, the standout "Chaos Emeralds" makes its mark with an electric violin line could find its way onto a Yellowcard
album, and its brief breakdown only makes the final "chorus" more powerful.
doesn't reinvent any wheels, and it's a bit short -- only eight full tracks and a brief outro. That in itself is a bit of a blessing; the album is relatively homogenous, and a longer album may expose this as a greater flaw. But what is presented here is a shot of blissful excitement. It's a tad cheesy, sure, but by the time the euphoric "Voodoo Vision" wraps up, you'll want to carry on in the grand platformer tradition of moving heroically to the right, come whatever may.