Intense Chicago post-punks Meat Wave make a desperate racket on The Incessant, their third LP and second release for Side One Dummy. A deeply cathartic set written in the wake of frontman Chris Sutter's breakup from his partner of 12 years, The Incessant plays true to its name, pairing meaty, Motorik riffs with a crushing rhythmic attack. Career home recordists, Meat Wave chose this time out to work with Chicago production legend Steve Albini, who's a perfect fit for their organic approach and the immediacy of the material. Dissonant and furious opener "To Be Swayed" sets the tone as the trio barrels through an onslaught of tracks ranging from jagged, minute-long stabs ("At the Lake" and "Mask") to lengthier, more nuanced songs simmering with anxiety ("No Light" and "Birdland"). The album's arc rises and falls to varying degrees of intensity culminating in the wild spray of noise that occupies the front and back halves of "Killing the Incessant," making a dramatic closing statement which finds a sudden peace during its brief acoustic outro. Like love, The Incessant is not for the faint of heart, but it's a gripping and deeply personal piece of art and another solid release from this gritty, all-or-nothing trio.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger