Air Conditioning

Dead Rails

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While Air Conditioning have rapidly gained a pretty fearsome reputation thanks to appearances at No Fun Fests and similar events, not to mention notable earlier releases, its first album for Load, Dead Rails, almost starts off tamely. Not that "Where to Litter/Trash Burning" is some sort of gentle acoustic ditty, but the trio's clattering and crashing noise/rock crunch is fairly conservative for the genre-as-such, more a reasonable metal lumber than utter chaos. But when the big bass and lava-flow feedback kicks in for the second part of the combined song, things start rapidly coming together. From there the short album -- just over half-an-hour with four songs total -- makes a lot more enjoyable sense, switching up sounds and styles within a general framework very well. The clean, looming drone float of "I Run Away" is practically silent compared to the rest of Dead Rails -- only the sudden bursts of drum fills from Sean McGuinness break the mood, and even then not in an overpowering way -- while "Accept Your Paralysis" is a slow grinding jam that finds a new nexus point between Black Sabbath's downtuning and My Bloody Valentine-style overload. But "Conclusions/Concussions" is the real keeper, with a core riff and vocal trying -- and just barely failing -- to get through a suffocating blast of an audio fog of vicious feedback and scraggle. Monstrously remarkable, and a definite high point of the group so far.

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