Thursday, April 24, 2003

Review - Mnml

Artist: S Process

Posted on Thu, Apr 24, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Despite the new wave severity of the group's imagery, S Process isn't dabbling in the angular retro-electro sounds that have so enraptured the hip kids. And though "Mnml" is minimal enough to not employ vowels, it's still a fully formed and fleshy beast, with rock hooks and dense thickets of sound making it accessible and adventurous. The 12 tracks obliquely reference the pop underground while utilizing somewhat creepy song structures ("Five Boys" "should" be a gentle acoustic number; it comes off like an angry suicide note) for an altogether disconcerting effect. Most tracks are built upon rhythm patterns and, as such, benefit from a percussive inertia that makes up for the claustrophobic constructions of tracks like "Hi-Yah Is a Karate Chop." The production work of Phil Ek (Modest Mouse) delivers messy red levels and brain-clogging density, but it all seems intentional, as S Process are clearly tired with indie-rock orthodoxy.

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