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4 out of 5 skulls

Meek is Murder Algorithms

Man, I’m all for some crazy timing and sequencing in a song, but what Brooklyn’s Meek is Murder have done with their brash (and sometimes pretentious) blend of Converge, The Red Chord and The Dillinger Escape Plan, is just down-right nasty. Algorithms is a frenetic and cerebral trip through ten math-fueled tracks of caustic hardcore in just under twenty minutes. It’s an album with a dense and atmospheric production that accents and highlights all the key moments in an album chock full of them, yet oddly enough doesn’t overwhelm with sensory overload.

“Hello, World!” greets the listener with enough reverb and dissonance to drown an elephant in static textures. It’s essentially just an intro, but it does a wonderful job of setting the mood well. “Return Void” is where all the fun starts. It’s a song that is dense and layered with thick riffs and rumbling rhythms that jump and stop and start, all the while keeping up with one another to the tune of 43 seconds of squonky noise and anger. The title track is all over the place with nerdy, computer-esque guitar flourishes and enough vocal aggression to match the thicker, down-tuned guitars when the band gets away from the glow of their computer screens for a few seconds.

For as varied as this album is in terms of it’s spastic, ADD nature, it’s got a certain flow to it that keeps the listener engaged and attentive without confusing us too much. Each track is nicely timed and limited in length to exactly what it needs to be, never overstaying it’s welcome. The first four songs are indicative of what the band is capable of mashing together and still sound as a single unit. From the droning intro to the alternative treatment on “Recursions,” Meek is Murder have the sound of well traveled touring veterans and a seasoned, matured sound. It’s not an album that throws everything at you all at once and leaves nothing for the imagination. There’s restraint here and song structure that usually come with some maturation. It’s a surprise to hear it in a band’s debut album.

“(Null)” is a stellar track that shifts from noisy, dissonant hardcore with full on aggression to a subtle and subdued piano track to end it out. “Hope Springs Eternal (Spaghetti Code)” continues the aggressive Converge-like sound, but with the strict timing of The Dillinger Escape Plan. It’s a track that really showcases the band’s abilities nicely. As do the melodic guitar in “Sundowners” — lending a post-something vibe to the band’s sound.

The final combination of songs “Foo,” “Dining Philosphies,” and “Garbage Collector” sum up the album the best as far as the band’s outside influences go. There’s plenty of dissonant hardcore, noisy math, sonic atmosphere and a little down-home sludge all thrown in for good measure as the guys jump from rhythm to rhythm at OCD levels of timing and repetition. Algorithms is a hell of a debut album. It’s one that will cement the band’s name in a few year-end lists, that’s for damn sure.

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