The second Rose for Bodhan album shows Miller and company's already notable ambition increasing even further. Arrangements show a growing range from before and Miller's ear for a compelling vocal proves stronger than ever, while the focused intensity from all of the bands who inspired the group -- whether it's Bikini Kill's spirit of confrontation or the understated glitch that Autechre could be proud of -- all add to the fiery, left-field spirit on display. Recording themselves for the most part, the band -- with Miller the only absolute constant, blending takes from a variety of different sessions as this album does -- again demonstrates a key lesson apparent from earlier releases, namely that when not to play is as important as when to let loose. That the group is perfectly comfortable with both screaming noise and such efforts as the distorted subtleties of "I Like Love" -- stuttering drum-machine hits and disconnected vocal samples hovering deep in the mix as soft guitar and bass riffs slowly unfold -- is a testament to their open ears. "We Are the Conspiracy" regularly alternates between frenetic amplifier abuse/drone with more down-deep frequency beats and crawls, while "Alpha Centari Japanese" swathes its feedback in plenty of echo. "The Insideterior" once again shows the band's way around a Fall-through-Pavement riff and rant, though arguably there's an echo of Swell Maps in there as well, especially with the suddenly beautiful combination of guitar cries and melodies before the near-silent breakdown. The knack for inspired titles continues apace -- winners include "Look What Jesus Did to the Girls (He Made Them Dance)" and "Surprise (Your Teacher's on Vacation for Another Week So You're Stuck With The) Bitch!" For all the latter title's belligerence, though, it has one of the album's most accomplished moments, a haunting, three-note guitar figure swirling through both silence and sudden drum-machine chaos.
Share this page