By Lane Oliver
It’s been about five long, grueling years since the release of Car Bomb’s debut album, Centralia. That record was filled to the brim with dense complex rhythms, sporadic instrumentation and lots of extra eccentricities. Centralia sounded like no album I had heard before at the time and even today it still holds a place in my technical metal loving heart. Fans waited patiently for a follow up to the classic Centralia, which has been in development hell for the past couple of years. Our patience was finally rewarded this year with the release of their sophomore effort, w^w^^w^w. Car Bomb is back in full force and this record was well worth the wait.
This self produced record is raw and visceral and will absolutely rip you apart limb from limb. Car Bomb makes this intention clear right of the back with the thick, rhythmically dizzying “The Sentinel”. “The Sentinel” lets loose a caravan of chaotic chugs that rally around the sporadic drumming and stop and start rhythms. These aren’t your mediocre deathcore/metalcore brand chugs where the band regurgitates some half-assed groove and creates a breakdown out of it. No, these are violent galloping bursts of animalistic power that can and will devour you whole. But to be honest this is the worst song on the record because of the fact that it simply cannot compare to the coming mind-numbing assault that begins with “Auto-Named”. Much like “Rid” on Centralia, “Auto-Named” is the record’s shortest song that clocks in at fifty seconds. “Auto-Named” is a grinding little bastard that batters the senses with noisy chord structures, high speed tremolos, ascending and descending inharmonious licks and an overall sense of chaos. After this track Car Bomb continues to showcase their abilities to create some of the most complex and violent music imaginable. Some examples of w^w^^w^w’s pissed off, psychotic madness includes: “Finish It” opens up with ridiculously jarring, screeching sliding riffs in the vein of Psyopus and arrhythmic, dirty sounding chords. The band pulls out a city leveling Meshuggah-esque groove at the beginning of “Garrucha” that crushes my skull every time. But Car Bomb’s songs on this album seem to go through a sort of musical metamorphosis. The opening rhythmic pattern is recycled into a robotic like harmonic riff thereafter and disassembles into a crushing verse. “Garrucha” then slows to a crawling, bending riff that will inevitably induce vertigo in the listener. “Recursive Patterns” is one of the more psychotically complex songs on the record that opens up with a flurry of rapid sliding and ascending and descending muted harmonics. “Recursive Patterns” unleashes discordant riff after discordant riff in an attempt to melt what brain matter you have left before scaling back into a lurching, mammoth like chugging section. In short, the instrumentation on this record is completely mind-numbing as expected. What makes the music that much more chaotic are the vocals delivered by frontman Michael Dafferner. Michael’s maniacal vocal delivery includes his bestial low end growls that add more meat to the songs’ bones. Besides the growls, Michael also has raspy highs, hoarse yells and some clean singing that is so refreshing and surprising to hear. All of these techniques are performed at random intervals which in turn makes the music extremely insane. I could go on all day about the positives of this record but I’ll leave it to you to discover them yourself.
However, w^w^^w^w is not without its faults. But the good thing is that there are not very many. As I said at the beginning, “The Sentinel” pales in comparison with the rest of this album and does not showcase enough of Car Bomb’s true talent. The other thing that I didn’t care for was the lack of electronic and ambient elements on this record that were present on Centralia. I thought the Aphex Twin inspired moments on that record really helped it stand out and I was disappointed to find very little of that on w^w^^w^w. But these are just nitpicky things that do not make the album any less amazing than it is.
w^w^^w^w is ten times heavier and more complex than Centralia and overall is a better album. From start to finish, this album is insanely intense and I would not recommend it for the faint of heart. Within the five year gap between Centralia and w^w^^w^w, Car Bomb have perfected their craft and song writing abilities to create an album that quite literally “kicks ass”. Check it out and see for yourself.
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Favorite Tracks: “Auto-Named”, “Garrucha”, “Finish It”, “Recursive Patterns”, “Magic Bullet” and “Crud”.
For Fans of: Loincloth, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, The End, Crowpath, and Meshuggah.