Published Sep 14, 2016Mark Nieto has been part of the Los Angeles music scene for the better part of a decade, but it's under the moniker COMBAT! that he's finally releasing his self-titled debut LP. COMBAT! is an album of myriad pieces and paces that somehow work with one another. It's not quite a jigsaw puzzle: the pieces are all there, but instead of fitting so rigidly, they're loosely tossed one atop the other until a clear pattern emerges.
The album focuses heavily on experimental guitar and percussion, intersecting along the lines of ambient and more aggressive electronic sounds. Discordant tracks like the beat-laden "Days of Dust" and "Olive Skin" are juxtaposed with a static-y ambiance on tracks like "We Were Golden" and "Avron," both cacophonies of percussion and string entanglement. There's an interesting departure on "Saltwater Park," which shifts the focus completely and hones in on experimental guitar, the bare bones swathed in nothing more than a gossamer haze.
COMBAT! is a brash, unapologetic debut from an artist who's worked the scene and taken his time honing his craft. (Friends of Friends)