[3 December 2009]
If Dillinger Escape Plan and Psyopus had a baby who loved jazz-fusion and couldn’t talk, you’d have Lye by Mistake. The band is ostensibly metal—it is signed to Metal Blade imprint Black Market Activities, after all—in approach, though it’s obvious on its second album, Fea Jur, the band’s sonic range espouses a much broader spectrum of sensibilities. The improvisation of jazz is at the forefront, accented mercilessly with mind-blowing displays of virtuosic arpeggios and scale progressions most guitar players aren’t nimble enough to manage. “The Condition” and “Vanguard to Nowhere” are prime examples of this technical prowess, though elements of it pervade the entire record like a bizarre musical version of Tourette’s syndrome.
Fittingly, “Invincible Bad Ass” displays the heavier side of Lye By Mistake in a thundering prog-rock wet dream, as does the raging animosity of “Stag”. Then there’s the very out of place and Nick Drake-ish “Missouri Tomater”, which is gently strummed icing on the weird cake. By the time Fea Jur is over, it seems like a schizophrenic hurricane has just roared through your eardrums. At once disorienting, awesome, and destructive, Lye by Mistake has produced a staggering record that will thoroughly impress and confuse, depending on who’s listening.