Ian Williams, a former member of Don Caballero, has teamed up with a new otherworldly drummer (Helmet’s John Stainer), and an equally challenging guitarist (Lynx’s David Konopka) to form Battles. But rather than settle on their already established math rock expertise, the members are joined by experimental composer/avant-garde musician Tyondai Braxton, bringing the overall sound closer to progressive rock.
Which means that Battles’ first full-length, Mirrored, will please the King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator set as much as it does fans (like me) of Don Caballero. And it will probably garnish respect from any listener who appreciates complex rhythms, looping guitar patterns, and a penchant for full-on musician geekdom. [And annoy the hell out of anyone expecting conventional song structure, accessible hooks, or general tunefulness – ed.]