Brontide – Sans Souci
Math-rock has lost its way somewhat in recent years, hamstrung by the need to develop an ever-more technically complex sound and compositional approach in order to stand out. Brighton instrumental trio Brontide tackle the problem by keeping their style relatively sane, while working within a distinctive conceptual approach: Sans Souci is essentially one interconnected piece, flowing seamlessly between myriad atonal crescendos, delicate spidery arpeggios and chugging riffs.
This use of structuring gives the record a real sense of narrative, as well as providing a welcome case for the ongoing relevance of the album format. Perhaps inevitably, however, the parade of influences – Battles, Don Caballero et al – means there is little that is sonically new here. Moreover, for all its conceptual nous, Sans Souci is hampered, like much instrumental rock, from a lack of emotional depth. Within these perimeters, though, Brontide are an impressively accomplished outfit.