Battles: Gloss Drop

Gloss Drop
(Warp Records)

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While other bands focus on lyrics and vocals to be the central point of their delivery, Battles flesh out the instrumentation to make a unique, appealing soundscape. One part pop, one part electro, and one part alternative swirl together to make Gloss Drop danceable, but also lush, warm and layered.

An excellent example of Battles’ style is “Wall Streeet,” which takes 80’s-inspired guitars and pairs them with stampeding glitching noises and rapid drums. There doesn’t need to be a chorus or a verse to have a track swell and build.

“My Machines” features Gary Numan, the electro innovator whose voice is just as distinctive now as it was when he made it big with his single “Cars.” Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino also makes an excellent guest appearance on “Sweetie & Shag,” with her skill for reaching high notes appropriately offsetting the synths that accentuate the track.

If you’re looking for a group that manages to make instrumentals exciting, combining electronica with guitar rock, then look no further than Battles. Four years is quite the wait for a sophomore record to be released, but this group proves that they still have the creativity to carry their fanbase.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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