CAR BOMB
"Centralia"

(Relapse)

01. Pieces of You
02. Gum Under the Table
03. Rid
04. Cellophane Stiletto
05. Best Intentions
06. M^6
07. His Eyes
08. Hypnotic Worm
09. Cielo Drive
10. Solid Gray
11. H5N1

RATING: 8/10

Risen from the ashes of tech-addled underground weirdoes NECK, New York's CAR BOMB will scratch the itch of anyone who thinks DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN never improved on the "Under the Running Board" EP. But CAR BOMB don't settle for just being insanely good at fucked up, heart-stopping jazz-grind technicality or spazzed-out, deliberately wacky-for-its-own-sake blasting. They're also masters of sick, sludgy tar pits of grimacing doom, humungous grooves, and segments of tense, taut atmosphere. Plus, they can make their guitars sound like ringing cell phones or buzzers on quiz shows, too, which would be just deliberately bratty enough to be irritating if it didn't fit perfectly every time they did it.

There are eleven tracks, but nothing really works as well as just letting the entire half-hour avalanche rain down upon you. It's a Technicolor blur with isolated bits of flotsam that bob up out of the rapids — weird robot vocals, squealy guitar noises, chaotic drums fills and lurching riffs, all locked into step with military precision and an unforgiving, inexorable forward momentum. It's not so much grind as it is a lurching start-stop mélange of tempos that switch back and forth fast enough to give you whiplash, even more brutal for its lack of cohesion and unsettling, jittery rhythmic convulsions.

You don't walk away from "Centralia" humming any melodies, or really even remembering any of the individual punches that comprised your thirty-minute beatdown. But the nerve-jangling disquiet and indefinable dread should stick with you long after the last spastic drum fill and twisted slagheap of riffs fades out. CAR BOMB are the new face of tech-metal, both ludicrous in their over-the-top-ness and truly frightening in their ability to make such unwieldy science experiments actually evoke a primal, emotional response. Strange, disturbing, and exhausting stuff, not for those with pacemakers or weak constitutions.

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