There are a couple of missteps, but 'Mirrored' is one of the most arresting and thoughtful albums this year.
You have to hand it to Battles; a venerable supergroup, whose members have served time in acts such as Don Caballero, Helmet, and The Mark Of Cain, they burst out with a caterwaul of art-rock noise. After a slew of EPs, their debut is a chugging beast, turning avant-garde noise on its head, throwing tribal rhythms, heavy metal riffs, indie-pop licks, and non-sensical vocals into a refreshing aural masterpiece. If the jittery opener 'Race: In' isn't enough to drag you in, the seven-minute single 'Atlas' will knock you off your feet; somehow Battles manage to take a mess of musical accompaniment, stretch it out over long time structures, and make a handful of catchy and engaging songs. There are a couple of missteps, but 'Mirrored' is one of the most arresting and thoughtful albums this year.