Every music scribe loves a band with a good back story, and Wires Under Tension admittedly has an excellent one. Bandleader Christopher Tignor is a techie (he's getting a Computer Science PhD and is a software designer for Google) with a background in serious avant-garde music (he's studied with and/or worked for composers LaMonte Young and Paul Lansky), but he combined his interests in music and technology for his Slow Six project. After Slow Six was booted from its Brooklyn-based headquarters, Tignor and drummer Theo Metz decamped to the South Bronx, where they began making music as Wires Under Tension. Developing a new sound beyond the sway of Brooklyn's cool cachet, they put together their debut album, Light Science. With Tignor on violin, keys, and electronics, and Metz holding up the percussive end of things, the pair has created what might be described as post-rock for a new era. It's the kind of sound that wouldn't seem out of place alongside the instrumentally oriented work of Sufjan Stevens, though the blend of propulsive rhythms and electronic tweaking places Light Science in close proximity to the Battles camp as well. The feel here is that of a rock band -- at least in the loosest definition of the term -- especially when Metz digs into his kit and WUT gets going on a groove. But Tignor's musical apprenticeship in the avant-garde world shows through as well, and between the minimalist motifs, flowing violin lines, and brass interjections, Light Science sometimes suggests the likes of Steve Reich, LaMonte Young, and Pauline Oliveros letting their hair down for a garage-band jam.
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AllMusic Review by James Allen