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Black Dice

Load Blown (Paw Tracks)

Brooklyn-based trio Black Dice writes songs that confound, challenge, and sneer at concepts taken for granted in most popular music — things like linearity, pacing, and accessibility. Initially the group went for sheer noise overload, only to shift to time-blurring tactics for Beaches & Canyons. By 2005, with the band's severely disjointed Broken Ear Record, a roll of the Dice was akin to washing down a handful of ephedrine and Esctasy pills with a 40-ounce before hitting the club scene. That, or taking in said scene through an autistic filter.

The alternately maddening and lovely results — corrupted, multi-instrumental note-snatches looped into frenzies or smooshed into pudding — are echoed on the less overbearing, more tuneful Load Blown. "Bananas" registers as a grotesque, squishing waltz topped with vocals slowed down to sludge speed. "Drool" threads fake Indian flutes through a thick, blurred gauntlet of clack 'n' whump beats. "Kokomo" has nothing whatsoever to do with the Beach Boys and everything to do with a firm bass pulse set against a gaggle of tweaking, jerking synths and percussive spurts. The effect is sort of like being inside an electro pinball machine. Load Blown feels so, so wrong, and yet so weirdly right.

 
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