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When I’m in the mood for Ska, which is the state I’m in lately (I just took a break from writing about new releases to play the Skatalites’ “Simmer Down” several times on YouTube) — most other music scarcely has a chance. So it doesn’t hurt that the first track on Beaten By Them’s new record is called “Last Train to Kingston.” Is it Ska? Not really. What’s sort of brilliant is the way BBT manages to infuse some old-school Jamaican energy into a track that sounds unlike anything I’ve heard before. I can say the same thing about the track that follows, “Jet Age.” And I’m impressed by the engaging sounds BBT’s making on these two completely instrumental tracks, which amalgamate rock/field/experimental approaches in a way that’s very subtly out of the box.
The balance of Kinder Machines is, pretty much, in the same vein, which is to say, never exactly the same, not exactly like anything I know, and stimulating without seeming as if BBT are trying very hard to get there. BBT, which is Andrew Harris (acoustic guitar), Chief Boima (cello, ableton), Jeff Ardziejewski (electronic and acoustic drums), Spencer Murray (electric bass guitar, bass synthesizer), and Max McCormick (piano, synthesizer, pump organ, vocals), calls its music Post-rock, a term that’s been known to give me a mild headache. But when a group of musicians is this talented; this in sync with each other, what’s in a name?
Kinder Machines will be released by LogicPole on October 16th.
Post by Mary Leary