01. The Sentinel
03. Finish It
04. Lower the Blade
06. Third Revelation
07. Recursive Patterns
08. Spirit of Poison
09. Magic Bullet
11. This Will Do the Job
12. The Seconds
Criminally underrated and hellishly overworked, Car Bomb are a band that to be respected. Between their first album Centralia and their indie documentary Why You Do This chronicling the unglamorous and often degrading life of an independent band on the road, Car Bomb have painted themselves as a dedicated force in extreme cerebral metal. Through it all, they persevere, because for them, the most important thing in their world is to make this music and live this life. Even if you don’t necessarily like the music, you have to respect their dedication to their craft. It’s nothing short of inspiring. After Centralia and the documentary, as well as leading single ‘Third Revelation’ featuring none other than Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier, it was safe to say that the long awaited sophomore release was going to be picking up a fair share amount of buzz.
To little surprise, Car Bomb do not disappoint. The interestingly titled w^w^^w^w is a thrill ride of stutter-stop guitar passages and manic, nearly deranged vocals (Michael Dafferner at times sounds like he’s channeling early Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Dimitri Minakakis) makes for a dense, demanding record. It isn’t a record without its hooks, though, and once those hooks sink it, w^w^^w^w reveals its full breadth and scope — and it’s both deep and dark. The band weaves a disparate collection of songs into a twisted and vaguely terrifying album that establishes an oppressive atmosphere nearly unrivaled by their contemporaries.
w^w^^w^w both the aforementioned Dillinger Escape Plan and early Meshuggah. In fact, this album is what Meshuggah should have become before they became stuck in their monochromatic, groove oriented rut, and what bands like The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza and Vildhjarta strive to be. The guitars are nearly unrelenting in their pummeling, stuttering assault, only letting for some incredibly catchy soaring choruses that would seem out of place on a lesser band’s record. Tracks like ‘Lower The Blade’ and ‘This Will Do The Job’ display an unorthodox songwriting style and throw curveballs fast and hard, almost to the point of making your head spin.
The only criticism that can be leveled against the album is that it can easily lead to aural exhaustion, and there is sometimes so much going on that in can get cluttered. The album’s 50 minute run time may be a bit much for the average listener to digest in one sitting, especially considering the challenging material, but luckily the songs stand well on their own, even as they often flow into each other as a whole. It speaks to the band’s ability to write songs that are at once chaotic and unpredictable, but also exhibit surprising depth and the ability to get stuck in the deepest parts of your brain and may leave you humming them at the most random opportunities.
Honestly, this album is exactly the kind of album Car Bomb were to make. It’s like Meshuggah, Danza and Dillinger all had meth babies who formed a band to be mad at their dads. It makes me want to wander along the old railroad tracks outside of town and ponder the futility of life. It makes me want to punch trees until they burst into flame. Car Bomb are the poster children for hardworking independent bands the world over, and it’s a real shame that they’re not more prominent than they are, as they deserve all the success in the world. Buy this album. Go to a show. Mosh your brains out. Have fun. It’s what they’d want.
Car Bomb – w^w^^w^w gets…