Last Chance to Reason

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Mathcore has become quite crowded, but Augusta, ME's Last Chance to Reason have found their own tiny niche. Their foundation is angular, metallic hardcore punk à la Botch and the Dillinger Escape Plan. The addition of keyboards and mathy dissonance, though, suggests a nerdier Faith No More, or a slower Behold... The Arctopus. But unlike these groups, Last Chance to Reason are still synthesizing influences and thus feel less revelatory. However, this band is technically flawless. The drums are metronomically precise, and the bass moves in jazzy counterpoint to the guitar and keyboard. Keys set this band apart. Instead of atmospheric washes, they unspool skewed lines, yielding a deranged circus feel. Sometimes the keyboards expand to a proggy grandeur reminiscent of Between the Buried and Me. Unfortunately, harsh yells threaten to obscure such instrumental mastery. They settle down, however, in "Those Were Real Witch Bones" for catchy refrains. Also belying the musical prowess is a rather juvenile sensibility, with song titles like "Owned by a Stingray Barb" and "Me and Tom Brokaw Are Like 'This'." The final track glows with beautiful, abstract chords -- but it's called "Cock Eating Bullet." Brains need to catch up to fingers here, but the latter are formidably nimble.

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