Review Summary: This is the EP of the guitarist of a band called Adebisi Shank...
Adebisi Shank for those paying attention is near the head, if not at the head of the game when it comes to instrumental mathy-rock. Their onslaught of strange electronic samples mixed with absurdly catchy hooks and off-kilter rhythms makes for one of the most original sounds a band has ever captured. Perhaps knowing this, Lar Kaye, the guitarist in this three-headed monster, has decided to try his hand at electronic music and as a surprise to no one, emerges from the lab with amazing results.
Fans of Shank would have noticed the near 100% increase of electronics use between the bands’ 1st and 2nd LP’s so the fact that Kaye went this route isn’t exactly coming from nowhere. His propensity with the medium however is something to be marveled at. This frantic EP is overflowing with original ideas and he implements them in his music very well, the greatest example being the song “Echo Island”, which uses hollow-sounding percussion and sharp Asian-sounding synths that immediately grab your attention and doesn’t let go throughout the entire song. The rest of the EP is a clinic on how to make a catchy, fast paced, yet extremely chilled out electronic release. Few breaks (if you can call them that) in the action are needed here but the listener is not punished in the least when they come, since normally they’re accompanied by some soothing beats as seen in “Effector” and “Daylight Day Light”.
Kaye’s crush on Japanese culture can also be heard if one listens for it. Shank’s 2nd EP had generous amounts of Japanese influence (they named a track ‘(-_-)’ ) and some of that influence has made its way onto this release as well in particular the third track where one can hear the Japanese word “hajimima***e” meaning “How are you"” being peppered throughout the song. These ideas, while good, never come off as contrived, with every sound on this record serving an important role in each song they are in.
Lar Kaye has proven himself with this release to be one hell of a well-rounded and talented musician. To be able to make something so hectic yet so chill is an impressive feat for anyone and it’s on display here in spades. The Shank influence is evident throughout the record but knowing how original an influence that is, one could certainly do worse. If nothing else, the hype-train for Adebisi Shank’s next release is going to need a few extra cars but you can’t complain with something of this caliber to tide you over.