Coalesce

Give them Rope She Said v2.0

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Long hailed as underappreciated precursors to the hardcore-influenced math rock-metal movement (later brought to most notable fruition by the Dillinger Escape Plan), Kansas City's Coalesce pretty much made a career out of repeated breakups and make-ups. Significantly, the same sort of uncertainty also seemed to apply to their multi-label relationships, bizarre detours into Led Zeppelin-cover band territory (no joke), and a self-revised recording history through the years. 2004's Give Them Rope She Said v2.0 is an example of the latter behavior, as it constitutes remixed, remastered, and repackaged "upgrades" (see tasty artwork) to the group's landmark 1997 debut Give Them Rope. Sure enough, thanks to the fuller, in-your-face mix, all 11 of the disc's original cuts appear to jump out of the speakers with even greater fury and power than before; and the added perspective of ensuing developments within the math rock-metal scene help make a case for the band's "ahead-of-their-time" status. And yet, the album is still very much an embryonic sketch of the creativity and virtuosity so effortlessly displayed by their successors; it's good, but not that good. Also, since tampering with the sound of any original recording is always a highly suspect undertaking, fans of the original article should approach this revamped version with caution -- truly colossal sound, beautiful artwork and all.