Lye by Mistake and Saviours…Posted on Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 @ 11:08 am » permalink
I feel like I've covered a shitload of debut full-lengths lately, and this is no exception. "Arrangements for Fulminating Vective" is the first full-length offering from St. Louis, Missouri's Lye by Mistake, which was released by the recently launched Lambgoat Records. Prior to actually getting the chance to spin this CD there were a few things that sort of worried me about what this band might deliver. One of them was that for some reason I was afraid they were going to be one of those irritatingly chaotic "crazy go nuts" metalcore bands that thinks "Calculating Infinity" is the holy grail (because "Disco Volante" is simply "not heavy enough, dude"). The other was the fact that they don't have a bassist on the album (I believe they've added a bassist since the time of the recording), and two of the three contributing members handle occasional keyboard duties. Well, I'm not gonna lie, there is an earlier Dillinger-esque sense of all over the place zaniness in many instances, but they totally win me over with some fucking badass lead runs (check from about 2:50 on in "Ostrich Feathers and Apple Pie") that take the wacky factor into this weird full-blown jazz fusion sounding territory that's pretty damn cool. There are just a lot of strange little quirks that actually provide some interesting breaks. The keyboards are hit and miss in my opinion, though generally more tolerable than I'd expect, and actually well-employed in the brief instances where things start to flirt with authentic 70's prog or whatever. There are a couple of areas that sound like bass is being used, so I'm not sure if they're doing that with guitar/keyboard manipulations or what, because none of the three band members are credited as playing bass on the recording.
I don't know, it definitely takes some getting used to, and it's not for everyone, but even the ridiculously jumbled and chaotic nature of the songwriting somehow works – and normally I can't really hang with much of that stuff. It could very well be that I just admire the technical proficiency of the playing and find the fluid jazz breaks and solos to grab me just enough to make the difference, I'm not sure. They're a pretty nutty group. Even though some of it's not really my thing there's no denying that a number of passages throughout the album are quite impressive, and should they ever decide to streamline their approach just a bit I could imagine them creating some rather moving material: When they introduce a hint more melody to overcome the acerbity it really pays off.
It's cheapest from the label, so why go anywhere else? Make the buy if you like what you hear: