Revolution Number 8

by Alex Hern

10. The White Stripes – Icky Thump
9. Kubichek! – Not Enough Night
The eighth album of the year…

Battles are a band that stand alone in the world of today. It’s not that there aren’t others making music like them; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The genre of Math Rock is a burgeoning field, with more and more bands creating its obscure, highly technical sounds every day.

And its not the success either. Other bands have managed to bring the sound to the mainstream before. Hot Club de Paris and Cats and Cats and Cats both merged the ethos of math rock with indie pop sensibilities, with varying degrees of success.

For me, it is the total lack of compromise with which they go about their daily business that makes them quite so special. They are the same now as they were when they began, and it’s everyone else that has changed to fit them.

That doesn’t mean they have been an unmitigated success, though. When they decided to release Atlas as the debut single from their first full length album Mirrored, it did achieve the requisite critical success. When they decided to then put it up as the weekly free download on iTunes… the result wasn’t quite so overwhelming. Averaging two stars from the hordes of freeloaders, and with most verbal feedback being hateful to the extreme, it was clear that the charts weren’t quite the place for Battles.

Which is why it is so odd that I, for one, have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like them. Hasn’t heard of them, yes. But everyone who hears them seems to fall in love instantly. And that counts for something, I feel.

Battles – Atlas [MP3 Removed]
Battles – Tonto [MP3 Removed]