Excepter

    Alternation

    8

    Plain and simple, Excepter is made up of four tricky bastards who won’t let themselves be pinned down.  Last we heard from them — on January’s Sunbomber
    EP — the boys were all about the live-from-the-seat-of-their-pants
    aesthetic; their voodoo-electro improv sent out to the masses in all
    its rhyme-and-reasonless glory. Flash forward just six months for Alternation and, all of a sudden, there seems to be some method behind the madness — relatively speaking.

    [more:]

     

    The
    mission statement for the album is to explore the difference between
    Excepter in a live setting and Excepter in the studio and,
    subsequently, to obliterate said distinction. The method? Just glance
    at the title. Alternation turns out to be just that —
    a revolving amalgamation of tracks recorded and composed live and in
    studio. Assuming there’s truth in the advertising, it’s mission
    accomplished. With few exceptions, these ears can’t spot the difference
    between live and studio cuts without consulting my cheat sheet.

     

    The
    sound is still sparse and damaged, but there’s a sense of direction
    that’s absent in the group’s previous output. There’s no dueling synth
    lines working at cross-purposes, with your ears stuck digging for
    melody like it’s buried treasure. Instead, the band members flex their
    normally dormant pop aesthetics, pieces building upon one another as
    the songs naturally ebb and flow. There are even hints of humor to be
    found, like opener “Icecream Van.” Starting as a gloomy dirge that
    asks, “What about the ice cream man when it’s cold outside and nobody
    wants what he demands?” the song eventually morphs into a bouncy
    rendition of “Do Your Ears Hang Low.”

     

    That Alternation
    is Excepter at it’s most accessible is likely no accident. Clocking in
    at a little more than an hour, the album is significantly longer than
    one of the band’s normal releases. It’s easy to imagine most listeners
    losing patience with the usual brand of chaos over such an extended
    period of time. Some may decry the loss of a bit of unpredictability,
    but this happy medium has allowed the members of Excepter to release
    their strongest collection of songs to date.

     

    Discuss this review at The Prefix Message Board 

    Band Website: http://www.excepter.com/

    Label Website: http://www.5rc.com/

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