Cinemechanica are a math-rock quartet from Athens, Georgia. They are responsible for one of the most aurally exciting albums of the year. The Martial Arts is an exercise in both energy and audacity. While their sound is very reminiscent of early Q and Not U or Drive Like Jehu, Cinemechanica exceed these comparisons with an organically post-modern interpretation of a fundamentally exhausted genre.
The Martial Arts begins with a swift, four track sonic bombardment that effectively eradicates everything in its path. The technically taut, dual-guitar attack of Andy Pruett and Bryant Williamson is on full display within the first ten seconds. The duo's sing/shout vocals feverishly cling to the equally systematic rhythm section. After successfully clearing their way, Cinemechanica quietly ease into the album's completely instrumental midsection. "Take me to the Hospital" gently builds to an anxiously melodic crossroad where it is abruptly sabotaged by the chaotic, double drum kit driven "Get Outta Here Hitler." The remainder of the album extends its fiercely mechanical energy with a sporadic vocal approach.
The Martial Arts concludes as promptly as it began, leaving only the unnecessary shards of a superfluous genre in its wake. Within a mere half-hour, Cinemechanica have not only proven themselves as math-rock prodigies, they have done so with a refreshing vigor that many of their contemporaries have all but abandoned.
9.2 / 10
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