We Built a Fortress on Short Notice
Imagine Shellac's 1000 Hurts stripped of its hardcore elements. Keep the driving guitar, but make it more textural than pummelling, and the shouted lyrics, sung with ferocious conviction. Now, add some jazz-like grooves to soften it up (best heard on "Half Bicycle") and that's how it feels to be within the belly of Self-Eviden''s sixth LP. The Minneapolis trio create a heavily math rock-influenced work, borrowing bits and pieces from the Dischord and Touch & Go catalogues. We Built a Fortress on Short Notice, however, is a little less Fugazi-esque than the band's previous releases. Guitarist/vocalist Conrad Mach's shouts and barks have been compared to J. Robinson (of Jawbox fame), but can also be strongly reminiscent of Cursive/the Good Life's Tim Kasher ("In Cowardice"). Occasionally, Mach adds a bit of singsong melody, calculated to fit wherever needed to enhance the angular guitar tones. Shifting time signatures and off-kilter, staccato guitar riffs are the main focus, punctuated by impeccable drumming and Mach's shouts. The album begins on a high note with the proclamation, "There were rumours!" and rarely dips, keeping your interest until the final riff.
(Double Plus Good)
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