(Arrowhawk) If Cinemechanica’s debut, The Martial Arts, was a series of elbows to the torso and out-of-nowhere uppercuts, its self-titled sophomore LP is a carefully choreographed whirlwind of head-butts, gut-punches and knees to the groin, with occasional branding by hot pokers. In a good way.
After a decade off from recording, Athens’ post-metal mathcore pioneers exhibit a new level of confidence, aggression and precision. Opener “Hang Up the Spurs” is a steep, turbulent ascent into the stratosphere, as mad virtuosos Bryant Williamson, Joel Hatstat and Mike Albanese are joined by former Manray vocalist Jordan Olivera, who pushes his snarl of a voice seemingly as far as it can go, then keeps going. The album’s first single, “Vietnamese Pool Party,” spasms to life at full speed then plunges toward a noisy, painful end, evoking the feel of a packed show in a condemned house that’s in the process of burning to the ground.
It’s debatable whether Cinemechanica’s lyrics have anything to say beyond the blunt, occasionally paranoid sentiments of their song titles—“I Ain’t Gettin’ Shot in Louisville,” “Trenches,” “Biblical Noise”—but the group’s meticulous rhythms and blazing string work will give your frontal lobe plenty to stew over, while inspiring any number of digits, limbs or other extremities to bang along.