Extra Life Secular Works

Here’s a warning to the readers: this is some heavy shit. There are many among us who would sooner drink a can of pus than have anything to do with a musicological opus featuring medieval singing techniques and thoroughly absurd contortions of melody. Those perverse enough to be intrigued by all this, however, will find that there is much to love about Extra Life’s audacious debut. Led by Charlie Looker (ex-Dirty Projector and present member of avant-spazz New York ensemble Zs), the band have produced a full-on experimental rock odyssey that is still uniquely melodic and focused. Teetering opener "Blackmail Blues” is a first round knockout offering a glimpse at what a metal band fronted by Dave Longstreth might sound like. "The Refrain” is another standout but is an entirely different animal — a bustling hive of staccato rhythms is held together by the insistent buzz of Karen Waltuch’s viola. Pointless academic noodling it ain’t; Extra Life have transcended genre with this gem. (Planaria)