volcano! Beautiful Seizure

[Leaf; 2005]

Styles: noise rock, post rock, experimental
Others: The Ex, U.S. Maple, Deerhoof

With Beautiful Seizure, the Chicago group volcano! makes their recording debut, and the title, for once, acts as a very apt description of their sound. The band is in power trio rock mode with guitarist/vocalist Aaron With, bassist/tinkerer Mark Cartwright, and drummer Sam Scranton, but the music they produce is far from typical rock. They're all about tonal juxtapositions -- beauty and brutality, quiet and cacophony, suspense and horror. Their songs defy standard structure with nothing like a verse-chorus-verse ever emerging. Instead, a song like "Easy Does It" begins with aural chaos gelling into a galloping rhythm while With wails both with his voice and guitar. The song devolves again into noise, and eventually With comes to the surface again with plaintive vocals and tightly strummed guitar. Throughout the course of the song, and the album for that matter, there is never a return to earlier sounds, and nothing ever quite sticks around long enough to allow a first-time listener the chance to get comfortable. But that's the beauty of volcano!. For those music fans, who take joy in hearing a wide variety of sonic moods thrown at them in a short time, this album will be the granting of an unspoken wish -- a truly promising first album from an adventurous band.

1. kalamazoo
2. easy does it
3. fire fire
4. $40,000 plus interest
5. larchmontt's arrival
6. la lluvia
7. red and white balls
8. apple or a gun
9. frozen in escape
10. before the suburbs
11. hello explosion
12. pulling my face in and out of distortion, i blink too much