Review Summary: Groove based rhythms and ear candy galore
Polyphia is quite a difficult band to discuss confined within one singular review, as regardless of what you think of them, they are undeniably complex and construct their craft with the utmost of precision. Works such as Muse and Renaissance really displayed the band in an astounding light (for lack of a better word), the songwriting was exquisitely well written on both efforts (even though stylistically they are quite different from each other), this is no exception in regards to New Levels New Devils even though the band has drastically shifted in styles since this release.
The first single released entitled "G.O.A.T" displayed a vast array of styles never before seen in other Polyphia albums. The song portrayed some incredible groove sections, and great drumming from beginning to end. Guitar prodigy duo Scott LePage and Tim Henson really upped their game within the riffs department above anything else, hybrid picking, harmonics, swift interval slides only scratches the surface of the abundance of technique used within this one song.
Fast forward to the album's release, songs such as Bad, Yas, and O.D. feature similar technique to what G.O.A.T initially portrayed. Yas has a very catchy riff and inclusion of Mario & Erick from CHON was a great addition, this track, in particular, was a kind of a breath of fresh air in my eyes because it just feels really relaxed and laid back (that's not to say that the rest of the record does not display this quality but this track, in particular, I find is the standout within this realm of relaxation/catchiness). Bad is also a standout to me as it has a really snarling tone to it in the guitars, and the verses backed up with the endlessly intricate drum and bass combo courtesy of Clay Gober and Clay Aeschliman (the fact that they have the same name will never not crack me up). Although the bridge of Bad is definitely the highlight of the track for me, it sounds like a kid's little carousel toy with those very distinct harmonics also exquisitely played may I add.
I can see criticism of this album seeing that perhaps the tracks blend together, but I would have to politely disagree, each song portrays a groove that helps the track flow like a fine wine on a Saturday afternoon. For example, the track Nasty and the track Rich Kids are not similar in the slightest, in my opinion. Both tracks may seem similar on the surface level, but once you hone in the grooves and the overall vibe of both tracks you may notice a little more beneath the surface once you peel back the layers.
Only minor complaints separate this from being a perfect score, the lack of variation could indeed be an issue for some, but I feel the positives far outweigh the cons on this release. Overall I see this as a very strong addition to Polyphia's catalog and I'm excited for what they bring to the table in their next effort.