Battles: Gloss Drop

Categories: Review Roundup

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Battles, Gloss Drop
I must say -- it felt like today would never come. June 7th seemed like a far too distant goal, a sinister illusion in the grand scheme of new releases. You see, New York experimental rockers Battles had announced they were going to release their sophomore album Gloss Drop on June 7th some months ago -- and the time spent in the interim, waiting for the album to come, was nothing short of excruciating.

Well, fuck all that nonsense -- it's finally June 7th and Gloss Drop is finally out. It's a good thing, too, since I believe Gloss Drop is one of 2011's finest albums to date -- a proper 1-B to the 1-A ranking of Fleet Foxes' brilliant Helplessness Blues. Gloss Drop is a decadent, seamlessly crafted work of art. Hyperbole knows no end with this album -- and I am being 100% genuine when I say that.

What the critics are saying:

Consequence of Sound: As a whole, the album has a lot of impressive musicianship, outstanding atmosphere, and interesting composition...Gloss Drop is an interesting sophomore release from a band that left itself room for plenty of future growth.

Clash Music: Their robotic, metallic guitars romp around, teasing out a baroque space opera that's both seemingly measured in nano-bars and obsessed with pushing beyond the outer limits of our sonic understanding.

BBC Music: It's Chilean artist Aguayo's "Ice Cream" -- rightly this album's lead single -- that really shines: a dazzling four-and-a-half minutes of grunts and groans, chimes and clatter, pings and zings and bells and whistles and the kitchen sink, it's every bit as brilliant a treat as its titular inspiration.

Spin: Gloss Drop is an immersion in abstract tonalities, with Tropicalia-touched dark minimalism ("Rolls Bayce"), tetchy arrhythmic strings "(Africastle"), and propulsive funk ("Futura"). Braxton's clever, found-sound loops are missed, but the remaining members' rampant ideas and inexorable groove keep Battles engrossing.

Gloss Drop is out now via Warp.

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