Drawing on a number of hardcore, math- and post-rock influences, Rockets Red Glare released their first full-length album nearly three years after forming. During that time, they developed an exceptionally tight bass-driven post-hardcore sound which managed to be both minimal and intricate at the same time; there's virtually no fat on any of this, and the band shifts quite easily from one complex rhythm to the next. The band claims a number of influences, from Slint to Shellac, from Mission of Burma to Cerberus Shoal, and you can certainly see where each of them comes into play here -- Slint especially, thanks to the long instrumental passages in each of the songs. It's actually tempting to say that Rockets Red Glare might actually make a better instrumental band, because Evan Clarke's vocals tend not to have much dynamic range -- just a full-on bellow, mostly -- and they're so sparingly used that occasionally they seem more like a distraction than part of the song. It's easy enough to forgive, though, and to get on with listening to the band stretch out; Jeremy Strachan's bass and Clarke's guitar play off each other nicely, creating a nice loud groove while simultaneously destroying it, while David Weinkauf anchors everything beautifully.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Carruthers