Treeburning Holus-Bolus

Oscillating between influences from methodically obtuse bands such as Sonic Youth, post-hardcore and emo fiends, including At the Drive-In, Moneen and those other bands that would shit their pants in the presence of both Jawbreaker and R. Lee Emery (for very different reasons), Calgary, AB-based progressive punks Treeburning reach incredibly far with latest opus Holus-Bolus. The idea is great: non-linear music intended to challenge parameters. As with any experiment in boundary-pushing though, the results are varied. A track like "Brokencastaway" is rich, vibrant and dark, with haunting, half-time guitar lines and dichotomously introspective/barking vocals. Unfortunately, when a band strive to create musical atmospheres instead of just delivering songs, there are certain requirements. Simply put, Treeburning are overextending and can't keep their physical abilities in line with their mental visions. Songs are bandied about well beyond their shelf life, featuring too many disparate aspects, and the actual performances feel awkwardly off time, at points. Moreover, unless you're Rush, flipping from style-to-style ― plinking guitar wankery to black metal screeching, faltering babbling and instruments drowning in digital delay are all present ― becomes frustrating, in a "pick a path and stick with it" kind of way, rendering Holus-Bolus a good idea with modest execution, at best. (Independent)