by Nathan Alan Schwartz |
via WARP 2019



Album Rating:

Pretty Lit

Album Rating:

Pretty Lit

"Throughout the album the twosome takes chord progressions throws them in a blender of electronic tools and destroys the traditional but somehow maintains a harmony. "

The New York experimental  duo Battles debt album Mirrors took the indie scene by storm because they created a new crevice for experimenters to make a home. Their single “Atlas” was only the beginning of the amount of work and thought would  go into all their songs. Their music has always been multifaceted  but it’s none more apparent than on their 4th studio album, Juice B Crypts. Battles was hit by instability with core- members leaving, multi-instrumentalists Ian Williams and John Stainer  had to find a new way to make that music as a duo, and with Juice B Crypts they have done just that.  All 11 tracks  on this album are full of electronic wizardry that only a band like Battles can produce.

Said to be heavily inspired by the city of New York, Juice B Crypt exciting opener “Ambulance” sets a scene in which you can imagine the distant whaling sound of a siren just behind the hustle and bustle of other city sounds.  But, like a good poem this isn’t done on the surface it is done with glitches,  dying game system sounds and sonic metaphors. Even at one point, it sounds like a dying carrousel.  On this track too Ian Williams puts his brilliant drumming on display

Over the years Battles has had a number of guest spots to accompany their work. On Juice B Crypts, Tracks like the soulful They Played it Twice, the progressive rock inspired Sugar Foot, the wonderfully funky dance punk of Titanium 2 Step, the hip hop on IZM  and Last Supper On Shasta 1&2 are a testament to a good guest spot. None of the guests on this album over shadows the complexity of the music. While the song Titanium 2 Step stands out as the best of the guest spots, the others aren’t weak but def aren’t knock out punches. In addition to the guest spots this album boasts a few instrumentals like the track Fort Greene Park that combines the post rock sound of  Boards of Canada sound with what sounds like to me like a  glitch blues  experiment that makes it’s out of tune  wailing sound fab. This track especially is a brilliant dedication to what can be done with both live instruments and electronic tools.


Throughout the album the twosome takes chord progressions  throws them in a blender of electronic tools and destroys the traditional but somehow maintains a harmony. Williams and Stainer,  have def mastered the art of repetition   and are major maximalists, overloading the ears of the listener with intricate, progressive and weird music while  still making it fun, it seems that  Battles hav mastered   what most have not.


November 1 – Turin, IT – Club To Club Festival 2019
December 1 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
December 2 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne
December 3 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
December 4 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room
December 7 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
December 8 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
December 10 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg
December 11 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall




Nathan Alan Schwartz likes to dance in the pale moonlight.

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I would dare say that this is one of the best albums of the year. It is most def one of my personal favorites next to Tyler the Creator’s Igor. Deceiver never gives into the it is pessimistic sound despite being an album about regret.
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