Thursday, December 8, 2011

X-Ray Press - 2011 UVB-76

Band : X-Ray Press
Album : UVB-76
Release Year : 2011
Genre : Progressive | Mathrock | Experimental

Tracklist :
1. I.A.i. Everybody, This is Everyone (And Nobody Cares)   
2. I.A.ii. Bad Beard (God Under Oath)   
3. I.A.iii. On Breathing Water   
4. iv.   
5. I.B.v. Chord & Mumble   
6. Get Nervous! But Don't Wake The Neighbors   
7. I.B.vii. Cubicle Racist   
8. I.B.viii. Thin Mints, FSA   
9. A Turning   
10. II.C.x. Tiffany/Stephanie   
11. II.C.xi. Forging Blindly Forward (In Search of Purpose)   
12. II.C.xii. Holy Ghost, USA   
13. xiii.   
14. II.D.xiv. On Perfecting Forgetting   
15. II.D.xv. Memory Folds In   
16. xvi.   
17. II.E.xvii. The Terms (In the Colors of Our DNA)   
18. II.E.xviii. Everyone This is the End (And Everybody's OK)

Prog-rock has been around for quite a long time now. Though its roots can be traced back to jazz fusion, many bands eschew those undertones in search of a new sound that still retains the complexities in the music but not so much the jazzer attitude that can come off as overly pretentious. Nobody wants to end up sounding like Yes, or (it pains me to type this...) Emerson, Lake & Palmer after all. X-Ray Press has created one of the more complex albums that holds a firm footing in the prog world, but is still so much more.

From the opening of the first track, “Everybody, This Is Everyone (And Nobody Cares),” the guitar tone reminds me of Shellac. The aggressiveness of the music also matches Shellac’s own ethos in some ways, and though they can both be considered to be creating “math-rock” (a genre that side-steps the aforementioned jazz influences found in progressive rock but still holds to the same “complexity for complexity’s sake” by constantly shifting time signatures), Shellac would never consider creating an album with songs that are linked thematically, forming a deeply woven story about living in the modern age. X-Ray Press’s angle is more similar to that of The Dillinger Escape Plan, with more than just a nod to their metal leanings, but with not as much of the dialed up anger as Dillinger, and cleaned up a bit. Though there is not an overt jazz sound there are glimpses of its interesting harmonies and song structure that can sound reminiscent of “Starless and Bible Black“ era King Crimson as in tracks like “Chord and Mumble” and “Holy Ghost, USA.” But then again, doesn’t every prog band have some element or other that points back to King Crimson in some way? There are also strains that sound like Pink Mountain’s avant—garde improvisations in “Bad Beard (God Under Oath).”

Hopefully, this will give you an idea of the truly rich palette these guys are working from. Of course, it’s little bits here and there, nothing overtly derivative or ripped-off from anyone. Strongly influenced yes, but X-Ray Press really does seem to be doing something different. With UVB-76, they have taken a rather complex structured album and, where most bands would leave the tracks at 20+ minutes in length, X-Ray Press is carving out little gems that are much more easily grasped because of their forgiving song length of 2 to 5 minutes. This makes for a prog album that is in your face and quite possibly “radio-friendly.” A significant amount of punch is packed into the 2 minutes of “Cubicle Racist” and “Thin Mint, FSA.” -ADAM SHANLEY (groovemind)


X-Ray Press - 2008 ep1 brkn type

Band : X-Ray Press
Album : ep1 brkn type
Release Year : 2008
Genre : Progressive | Mathrock | Experimental

Tracklist :
1.Roboto Sexo    
2.(She Tried) To Be My "Therapist"   
3.Faultline Millionaires   
4.The Pitch   
5.Center of the Center of the Universe

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