[19 December 2006]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
The kind of spazzy hardcore that can send a room full of teenaged hardcore dancers into a spin-kicking frenzy in mere seconds, this herky-jerky full-length debut from the Virginia trio careens along with absolutely zero fluidity, but a whole lotta funk. Heavily deriving its sound from such seminal ‘90s acts as Drive Like Jehu and the Jesus Lizard, Mar purees those sounds along with a more math-like dexterity (think Dillinger Escape Plan and Between the Buried and Me), but manages to keep things loose enough to not get too overtly technical, giving us a dozen crazed tracks in just over half an hour, ranging from the almost Southern rock-influenced “Ship to Shore”, to the surprisingly lucid “The Great Neurasthenic” (the world needs more mathcore piano), to the frantic melodies of “Matthew O’Connor”. Toss in the odd drum and bass-inspired interlude, and you’ve got an album with enough variety to command the attention of everyone listening. And downloading doesn’t do this sucker justice, bit torrent kids, as the art design on this chipboard digipak is almost as fun as the music. This fine band deserves your ten bucks.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/ultra-dolphins-mar/