Mirrored review by Battles

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  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (35 votes)
Battles: Mirrored

Sound — 10
If you have seen live footage of this band, you would have seen some very skilled musicians. Tyondai Braxton plays guitar, keyboard and creates live voice samples, Ian Williams basically plays keyboard with his right hand and guitar with his left, Dave Kanopka providing super low end and switching to guitar and effects racks. All of them constantly manipulating sounds with effects. Meanwhile, providing the back bone of the whole thing is John Stanier on drums. This recording is a piece of art that you can dance to. Sometimes you will not know what is going on. Such is the way of the math-rock.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this album are typical of the genre of math-rock. That is to say that when Tyondai is singing, the focus is more upon the vocal effects rather than the lyrics, and the vocals become another part of the soundscape. On the lead single "Atlas" he sings 'singer is a crook, kitchen is for cook, whoa-oh-oh' which is put through some interesting pitch bent effects and complimented with beat boxing. Lyrics are not the main focus of the album, and are often unintelligible. That said, the vocal embellishments do compliment the music very well and are completely pleasing to listen to.

Overall Impression — 9
I haven't listened to very many math-rock artists before Battles, but I'd say that this album would be a great place to start listening to the genre. Stand out tracks for me would be "Atlas", "Leyendecker", "Ddiamondd", and "Tonto". Drums by ex-Helmet drummer, John Stanier, are simply amazing and they are probably the defining aspect of the CD. Having said that, all four of these skilled musicians are incredible and bring something to the mix which I personally have not heard before. At least not heard it done so well. My only beef is with some of the shorter songs. Which I found myself really liking, only to find them suddenly be over.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Absolutely love this album. The EP has some great stuff as well, B + T wouldn't be out of place on Mirrored.
    saw these guys live at evolve, and they put on a great live show, highly recommend seeing them if you have the chance
    I wouldn't let this album be your introduction to math rock, you goes too many directions. Play it safe with some Slint.
    i hated these. I got the album and i'm just blown away by how clever it is. Its completly original and to me, its somehow poppy!
    Battles are amazing, they are innovative and some people just can't appreciate new things (e.g. something_vague). Music is supposed to be progressing forwards, not get stuck in a rut! Battles are certainly pushing musical boundaries, also, I'm quite a fan of Ian William's work with Don Cabellero (check them out) and John Stanier is an awesome drummer!
    Am I the only person with sense, I can't stand this band, they're terrible, if I wanted to listen to the seven dwarfs try and cover Pink Floyd and King Crimson, well I wouldn't want to, and I don't, and that is why this band is the biggest over hyped garbage out in the indie scene right now. Prog-rock is never and will never be fun or cool.
    MentalityBand wrote: Oh, I clicked this because I glanced over it and thought it was about The Beatles... ...Beatles...Battles... Meh.
    hah a, me as well MEH!
    I've come to realize that this band is definately a hit or miss depending on who is listening to it. For me it was a huge hit, One of my top ten favorite albums . I just bought the Album a couple days ago and was surprised to see that it came with a poster, needless to say it is now high on my wall being shown proudly... YAY BATTLES
    One of the best of the year, seriously. It's great to see some modern musicians with talent for once.
    Oh, I clicked this because I glanced over it and thought it was about The Beatles... ...Beatles...Battles... Meh.
    I've heard they're better live than on the album, but then again, I heard the album was meant to be amazing. Thought it was alright.
    It's good, but "and doesn't feel pretentious in the least." is a definite lie!
    Atlas is an amazing song... too bad i heard about these guys from LittleBIGPlanet, lol... i really think someone should tab Atlas for bass tho, huh? no one shows us bass players quite as much love.