Music

Adebisi Shank: This Is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank

Does for math-rock what Gabba did for Kraftwerk...


Adebisi Shank

This Is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank

Label: Sargent House
US Release Date: 2011-03-15
UK Release Date: 2011-03-15
Amazon
iTunes

World, meet Adebisi Shank: the most fun you can have with your clothes on since the zipper was invented. A word-of-mouth juggernaut in their native Ireland, simply put, this Wexford trio is a jaw-dropping live prospect, as you could easily imagine listening to their 2008 debut. The follow-up, however, is a whole other level.

Consummating a hitherto unspoken theme quietly building in the dutifully scholastic Irish Noise scene, here Adebisi break from the calculated fret-puzzle trappings of their contemporaries for an almighty bout of outrageousness, obsoleting ten of your favourite rock acts in the process. Released on forward-thinking Dublin-based label Richter Collective, the glitchy, mega-math tour-de-force This Is The Second pits their debut's back-breaking tropical patterns against Yngwie Malmsteen, the Wham City sound, Marnie Stern, Queen, Boston, God, The Devil, Captain America, the Russians, and a 4000-horse chariot bound for the year 2525. Furious, invincible, breathtaking and ridiculous, This Is The Second does for math-rock what Gabba did for Kraftwerk.

Within 30 seconds of Shank heavyweights "International Dreambeat" and "Masa", their counterparts in the field -- Don Caballero, That Fucking Tank, and Battles -- taste like sour milk. After 40 minutes in the company of the Shank machine, by contrast, the competition play like a church organ set to a sermon on the importance of classical training, and that includes the impish latter two. Neither stand up to the sheer vitality on show throughout Adebisi's second album, a lurid but refined starburst of helium-charged, candy-coloured power-metal.

Released to almost universal acclaim, Adebisi phase two offers an awesome display of musicianship with a nigh-on intergalactic galactic sweep, both untrammelled and luxuriant next to their previous effort. A full-throttle mashtronica monster of vocoders, shredding taps, pulverising Albini-esque riffs, it's delivered with infectious relish, with the combo emerging at the other end sated and superhuman and as always good natured. Parallels can be drawn to fellow Irish instrumentalists ASIWYFA, who, like Adebisi's spin on math-rock, ply a carnivorous punk veraciousness without straying too far the original code. In both cases, the bands have managed to advance their respective genres by means of a heavy fabulousness.

If they are unable to sustain the frenzied pitch, as they ease back on side B their already apparent melodic nous is accentuated on beatific, cresting lovelies "(-_-)" and "Logdrums" (featuring drum and bass rhythms, no less), before closer "Century" underlines the album in deep black with a nod to the dry mouthed, sea-sick technical math that lined their debut. An implacable, cutting edge fireball of world-class math-rock. Still not convinced? "Genki Shank" awaits you, infidel.

8

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image