Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Leftyfish - You, Fish! EP (Hitam Kelam Records)

The first 30 seconds of this record are deceiving enough : free-jazz like drumming with saxophone on top trying to keep up with the beat with faint high-pitched yell on the background. Once the distorted guitar came in, there's no mistaken that this is not for the faint of heart. The song went through changes almost every few seconds like a manic kid who tries to play as many notes on as many instruments as possible. The band stops real quick, leaving piano on the background, then re-joined. Tremolo picking over double-bass? check. Piano on the background? check. Saxophone? check. 

There's a definite free-jazz influence here, as well as grindcore and hints of progressive (even though none of the songs are longer than 2 minutes). John Zorn and Tzadic comes to mind. And the high-pitched female yell will surely recall Melt Banana as well. The more metal parts reminds me of Circle Takes The Square. This EP is exciting and I applaud Leftyfish for further establishing Jogjakarta as a hotbed for interesting and somewhat 'different' music. 

However, I do feel that they're most effective when the grindy moments are inter-juxtaposed with the 'random' jazz moments. Tracks such as End Up On The Screen and Trees which display a more straight-forward grind structure doesn't really do much for me. Overall though, this is a really good EP and i'm excited about these guys. It's aggressive, manic, and a bit wacky (in the best way). I can see this band having more crossover appeal. Will be waiting for their next releases for sure. 


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