Battles – Gloss Drop

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Review by Kate Herrington

Thanks to the Skins Season 2 soundtrack, I fell in love with the New York rock band “Battles” earlier this year. Considering their debut album “mirrored” was released four years ago, some might call me a late bloomer, however I am now an obsessive fan driving home from the 4zzz studios to listen to their latest release – Gloss Drop.

This album flows beautifully through 12 sophisticated equations of diverse texture and speed. It sounds like these experimental boys have become quirkier since we last heard from them, taking us into a world where steel drums don’t sound cliché and hand claps are not indie.

This is the bands first release without the charismatic fourth member and vocalist Tyondai Braxton. Although there are numerous guest vocalist appearances, they do not compare, and I feel Battles work could be just as powerful if the album remained a voiceless abyss. Gloss Drop is wonderfully engaging, but as the CD spins I can’t help listening for a track to match the success of their most known song “Atlas”, it never comes.

For me, the music of Battles has an intensity that requires solo listening, and this release is no exception. Gloss Drop is quite an intense, enjoyable collection of tracks which will be on high rotation for those in the know.

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