Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Don Caballero 2
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
Brilliantly crazed instrumental prog
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 10/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How to describe Don Caballero's sound? There isn't much like it to provide a frame of reference, so it's not easy. Well, here goes: throw the sounds of Helmet, Mogwai, Slint, Drive Like Jehu, Sonic Youth, The Mars Volta, and Shellac into a blender, remove all vocals, add a mad genius of a drummer who sounds sort of like Elvin Jones (of John Coltrane fame) on methamphetamines, and you'll get a fair idea. With 2, the virtuosos of Don Cab created a monster of an album, one that bends minds as easily as it bends genres with its highly distinctive blend of fusion, metal, and prog. The compositions ("songs" doesn't quite feel like the right word, thanks) here veer between extended, multi-faceted epics that straddle the ten-minute mark and shorter, sharper pieces, but no matter the track length 2 showcases some dazzlingly complex structures that never fail to make heads spin with their consistent unpredictability.
Now, before I go any further, I should stress that whatever else it may be, 2 is not an exercise in gratuitious technical wankery a la the more grandiose moments in Dream Theather's catalogue. And despite the band's all-instrumental approach, this in no way falls into the post-rock category that's become so fashionable of late; the sheer intensity of this recording would be more than sufficient to blast the likes of Explosions in the Sky into submission (not to say EITS aren't a good band; they very much are). At all points, 2 is a focused, aggressive, and measured display of technical wizardry that's at least as much about creativity as virtuosity. If your brain isn't engaged while listening to this stuff, you might've hit the "off" button on it by mistake.
Of course, given their prodigious chops, the guys in Don Cab could be forgiven if they decided to show off a little. I've listened to tons of music from various genres, and these guys can easily hang with any band I've ever heard when it comes to musical skeelz. Drummer Damon Che gets a great deal of the attention when Don Cab is discussed, and rightfully so: he sounds like two drummers most of the time, with a jazzy, impossibly fluid style that keeps the proceedings interesting even during the rare calmer moments. With Che going wild on his kit, the task of supplying the groove falls largely to bassist Matt Jencik, but he's more than up to it, his crackling basslines expertly poking through the tiny spaces left in the mix by the insanity going on around him. Then there's the guitar duo of Ian Williams and Mike Banfield, who are, simply put, amazing. The intricate, interlocking patterns these guys create are like no other, more than justifying the "math rock" label that's so liberally applied to the band's work.
While there aren't really any leads per se on 2, they would probably end up feeling gratuitous anyway, as every band member practically seems to be soloing at once anyway. As such, it can take a while to decipher the reams of complexity present on this album, but it's definitely worth the effort. Opener Stupid Puma starts the album off with a barrage of screeches and skronks from Williams and Banfield and some caffeinated drumbeats from Che, nicely prepping the listener for what's coming next. P,P,P, antless is pure insanity, with Che relentlessly assaulting his kit behind the pounding metallic riffage of the guitars. Repeat Defender could best be labeled as futuristic space rock from hell, featuring an interplay among the four musicians that could only be described as telepathic. Imbued early on with a righteous, swinging rhythm, Dick Suffers Is Furious With You briefly flirts with catchiness before descending into the sort of shrieking math that's more prevalent on the album. Shifting tempos, moods, and pretty much everything else every ten seconds or so, Rollerblade Success Story boasts the kind of rampaging time-signature manipulation that should have fans of Meshuggah and the Dillinger Escape Plan drooling. The band shows a pretty nifty aptitude for dynamics as well: just check out the way they adulterate their assaultive sensory overload with some pleasantly melodic moments in please tokio, please THIS IS TOKIO and extended passages of droning repetition in No One Gives A Hoot About FAUX-ASS Nonsense.
For the serious music fan, 2 is one of those albums that can easily become an obsession, eliciting listen after listen in an effort to unravel its myriad intricacies and eccentricities. That, ultimately, is the main source of this album's appeal: it sounds great at first, but each revisiting brings to light some new detail and putting it all together becomes a mission in and of itself. If you've got a high-tech stereo and some good headphones, 2 can help you kill many unproductive hours. It certainly works for blasting out lingering memories of the bland crap that dominates the radio."
My god this stuff is incredible!!!
Adam J. Whittemore | Arbutus, MD | 04/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of unorthodox music, expecially the music that is so tight and precise that it blows your mind. All I have to say about this album (and really this band in general) is JESUS CHRIST!!! Never have I heard such precision, even though and first listen it is total noise. Listen more, you will unlock so much s*** it is ridiculous. AMAZING ALBUM, easily in my top 5 all time."
This music burns.
Mike Bundy | Seattle, WA United States | 05/10/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don Caballero is technically amazing (especially the drummer). They pull out all the stops, leaving you scratching your head saying, "What the f*** was that!" This is Instrumental mayhem in odd time signatures. Total aural bombardment."