Friday, June 3, 2011
Battles vs Tyondai Braxton
Foremost example: At the Drive-In.
Fallout: The Mars Volta, Sparta.
To which we classically say, The Mars Volta, duh. Sparta sucks. Which isn’t true. Aside from the Tremulant EP and the first few songs of De-Loused, Sparta is better (though, I haven’t listened to either of their latests). Which is all nothing anyway, because neither is At the Drive-In. Which is the lesson.
Amicable fallout: Battles is still Battles, Tyondai Braxton is still now Tyondai Braxton.
And, terrifically, the Battles split refuses the At the Drive-In model, producing two albums that outstrip their lauded Mirrored when Battles meant Tyondai Braxton too (which constitute, hopefully, more goodness to come).
First: Why didn’t I listen to Central Market (Warp, 2009) a couple years ago when it was released? Why did I wait until this year? This album is nuts! Like, amazing, spacey, whimsy-filled, bursting with more colors and inconceivable architecture than Dr. Seuss’s got, nuts. Really brilliant stuff. Stuff that you can trace back to Battles, but that is now orbiting in a wholly new, wonderful, maddeningly gleeful and playfully menacing galaxy that’s all its own. Bravo Tyondai, this is worthy stuff.
Tyondai Braxton - Central Market
Second: Gloss Drop (Warp, 2011) is awesome. This is what I wanted Mirrored to be when people were apparently so enamored. It’s so much looser, funner, more enjoyable. Mirrored was a bit too self conscious of it’s own grandiosity. Gloss Drop isn’t worried about that at all. It’s the band members playing for themselves and each other. I’ve been listening to it non-stop. This really is a great piece of summer listening (though, it will maintain itself in any season).
Verdict: Very happy (though, Braxton by a hair).
Recommendations (obviously): Battles’ Gloss Drop, Tyondai Braxton’s Central Market.
Battles - Gloss Drop (2011)