Mars Accelerator

Frankfurt: Telephonics

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Seattle-based sonic daredevils Mars Accelerator fill their second full-length album with noisy, ear-splitting, angular, and often atonal guitar rock textures. Earning a name for themselves in the independent rock world with their 1996 debut, I Am the South Pole, this group shows no sign of mellowing or adapting their sound to the preferences of the average human ear. Typical of earlier works is the unsettling, semi-discordant nature of the group's twin guitar work, caused by the use of pitch/tone warping effects, whammy bars, and bent strings. However, on this release the band takes it one step further by drenching Bobby Nath's vocals in similarly trippy, yet unnerving, effects. Nath alternates between eerie subdued vocals and throat-shredding hoarse shouts. The lyrics are remarkable when audible -- like lines out of a grad student's philosophy/physics book that have been twisted into a strange form of poetry. Fortunately, the album comes with printed lyrics. This work is a wonderfully challenging listen that is packed with 72 minutes of twisting guitar riffs, bizarre noises, and equally unusual vocals. A brave experiment from one the Seattle area's premier underground noise rock bands who simply refuses to back down -- or back off their fuzz boxes.

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