This garbled cacophony of untamed genius wanders the blurred line between coherence and unheard-of creativity. Musical pieces progress without fully conceived ideas of rhythm, time, melody, or any remotely obvious form of construction. Everything here seems fleeting, improvisational, and therefore, in some way, directly from the inside of these amazing musicians (two-thirds of whom now make up the undeniably amazing Don Caballero). Guitar lines vomit and squirt from the prodigious hands of one of the greatest guitarists of our time, Ian Williams. The percussion erupts in spurts of mad ranting that is spaced and cut-throat. Incorporating foreign elements such as the breaking of bottles and the lighting of a cigarette, it often seems to be emerging from a totally different room than that which the rest of the band occupies. Sporadically, the band locks into glorious meshes of coordinated sound with deadly precise rhythm and beautifully intertwined melodies; this, however, never lasts for too long. The muttered, half-spoken, half-sung vocals of Ian Williams creep into the fabric of the music, reciting far-gone abstraction that in some way captures the essence of the band around him. Storm and Stress is doing something until now untouched, taking the logistics of everything we know about music and crushing them into spattered stains upon the walls and floor.
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AllMusic Review by Blake Butler