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5ive

Versus

(US: 20 Jun 2006; UK: 10 Jul 2006)

Guitars and drums. No bass. No keyboards. No strings. No brass. Just six strings, two drumsticks and the volume knobs cranked to 10. The instrumental and oddly named duo (would 2wo be more appropriate?) attempt to the make the most of their minimal approach by creating a wall of sound found in bands usually two or three times their size. Unfortunately on this EP (previously released as vinyl-only split LP with Kid606) the band not only fail at succeeding at their basic formula, but are upstaged Godflesh and Jesu genius, J.K. Broadrick’s, remix of their tracks. The two 5ive originals—“Reso-I” and “Soma”—split the difference on the quality. The former is disappointingly dull and predictable. Each change and painfully obvious shift can be seen from miles away, making sitting through the track an exhausting bore. On the other hand, “Soma”, finds the band playing with their palette a little more, offering texture and well honed dynamics instead of flirting with tired, calculated math rock. But it’s the final track, “Some Remix (Stage 2) that is the true stunner. Twiddled and manipulated by Broadrick, he augments the track with an array of synths, finding the emotional pulse of the track and ultimately creating a sound that falls somewhere between M83 and Neurosis. It’s moving, stunning and for 5ive, must be embarrassing, as it destroys them at their own game.

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