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Music Reviews

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Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
Movement and Detail

Rating: 7/10 ?

May 20, 2005
If 311 became prog rock and Paul Newman took that brand of indie rock to an operatic and metal-loving place, Bolt would be their first bastard child. The connections sound contrived, but with all the instrumental similarities going on with Bolt's most recent Movement and Detail, these comparisons seem the only logical direction to go.

Bolt sounds like your typical underground indie math rock-type group waiting to happen (they even inaccurately make allusions to Don Caballero in their press kit). There's lots of talent and enthusiasm in this efficient trio from South Carolina, and much of the time these attributes translate to original and creative compositions. However, there are moments when the group could use an outside mind to develop specific directions. Some moments of the 11 included tracks drag into shoegazing loop-guitar infinity and glaze over otherwise-potent segments with ripe angular Volta Do Mar-style switches.

The title, Movement and Detail, definitely describes its subject matter as the trio finds focus with sound quality and accessorizing. Percussion plays one of the biggest roles in this definition on an extended kit. Usage of roto-toms, tight piccolo snare drum, china cymbal and double bass drum pedal sounds similar to 311's Chad Sexton, as both parties tend to lean on their chops - perhaps even excessively so at points. Also similar to Sexton, Bolt's Bill Elliott finds a comfortable home base playing the basic 4/4 drum beat with double-time hi hat patterns over the top (think of a faster version of 311's "Amber").

For the most part, the guitar, bass and synth/keys of Bolt are under a dual guise of Paul Newman's reverbed-out, interweaving melody effect, and Fucking Champs' octave-matching, operatic metal poses. As you might imagine, this can sometimes be cheesy: Bolt combines some island-inspired rock jams with pop metal, but luckily these moments are relegated to quick spurts, feeling more like bad, quickly made decisions than something that the band was sitting on for months trying to perfect.

Movement and Detail has a long way before it becomes In the Court of King Crimson, American Don, 311, or even Frames Per Second, but for what this group is dropping, it definitely moves in the right direction to become a blip on the radar screen.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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