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Battles, Gloss Drop
Warp Records, June 7

06/02/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



If I may wax hyperbolic about a pop-culture artifact, it’s a crime against humanity that Battles lost singer Tyondai Braxton to an abject fear of touring right when things were getting not just interesting but unbelievably great. Their scramble for guest singers for this, their second album, turned up Gary Numan (whose turn on “My Machines” here is all the hard-goth-rock you need to hear for the duration of the decade), Kazu Makino, no-wave anti-star Yamantaka Eye and Chilean micro-house guy Matias Aguayo, whose drop-in on “Ice Cream” — imagine a cross between Primus and the theme song to Sanford & Son — is the first vocal track. Despite it being on closeout track “Sundome,” Eye’s dubby contribution helps define the overall Martian-amusement-park feel of the album — picture meeting a random R2-D2 droid who wants you to like him, so he spews forth a bunch of hideously listenable… things, after which you realize the only proper thing to do is take him out for breakfast. A+

— Eric W. Saeger






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