"Math rock" is a pretty vague term at the best of times -- hence the reason many bands take offense at the seemingly pejorative connotation -- but it's hard to think of more flattering words to describe Wicklow three-piece instrumental rock troupe Adebisi Shank. The flagship enterprise of D.I.Y. label Richter Collective, Adebisi Shank brings together two members of post-rock outfit Terrordactyl -- drummer Mick Roe and guitarist Lar Kaye -- and bassist Vinny McCreith, aka "the Vinny Club." Mixing the spirit of hardcore, the funk-tinged inventiveness of post-punk and a healthy dose of heavy metal flamboyance, This Is the Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank clocks in at a mere eight tracks and 23 minutes, with just three of those pushing past the three-minute mark. While the album may be short in duration, the range of ideas presented here is vast: they experiment constantly with varying tempos and time signatures and prefer to leave motifs underdeveloped rather than over-repetitive. Unusually for experimental music, Roe plays the traditional rock drummer role of holding the beat and dictating the pace, while McCreith is given free rein to walk between rhythm and melodic roles, giving the band a much fuller sound than a three-piece would be expected to have as a result. Kaye's performance, packed full of aggressive two-handed tapping and effects, occasionally gives the impression of a virtuoso self-indulgently dipping into his bag of guitar tricks, but it's indulgence within the context of great music, and somehow it's more charming as a result.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Donnelly