La Di Da Di by Battles | Album Review

WHEN: 18.09.2015
WHERE: Warp Records
LOVE.LIKE.ALRIGHT: LIKE

Much like the majority of Battles fans I fell in love with the math rock band around the time Ice Cream and Gloss Drop was released. The lead single and the album was a sugary sweet expedition into a vast ocean full of interesting twists and turns that left me feeling unhealthy and possibly with a touch of diabetes, but it was a fantastic way to explore just how sweet my tooth could get. With new album La Di Da Di the hype scale was off the charts for me, and hearing the band say that they weren’t going to continue in the poppier direction and stick primarily to instrumentals didn’t faze me one bit. I was too hyped.

Opening track The Yabba brings back all of the wonderful memories of hearing the likes of My Machines and Africastle as Battles dive straight into delivering all kinds of electronic and percussive chaos into the first cut of the new record. The trio pack an insane amount of instruments into this track from bells to synths to keys to bass to guitar to drums to drums to drums to drums to drums to drums, creating a beautiful orchestra once everything comes together. Battles do a fantastic job at laying down grooves at every opportunity, and The Yabba makes me wanna Dabba Doo. Terrible joke, but this is still a great song.

Things continue to be good as Dot Net offers more off-kilter groove at a much shorter time. Just three minutes is needed for this track to deliver a very solid drum beat which is paired up alongside some very off sounding synths, which meanders its way through the cutting thud of the drums to actually sound somewhat danceable. I have no idea what kind of dance you could make to this sorta music, but its left me intrigued.

FF Bada and Summer Simmer follow suit by offering sounds that could have come straight out of the Mirrored sessions, as synths dominate the former with all sorts of crazy little flurries of sound whereas the latter offers a much more deep rooted approach. Unfortunately it’s at this point that La Di Da Di begins to simmer down. The songs that follow don’t really live up to the strong start the record opened with as they don’t appear to go anywhere. The first four tracks started off fast and ended up in a new town of music whereas Cacio e Pepe and Non-Violence stop off at the next service station. I must say however Dot Com does have a really badass intro. So good.

La Di Da Di is an album that had a lot of expectation thrown onto it but sadly doesn’t quite meet them. I think Battles deciding to not head deeper into the poppier route of Gloss Drop hampered them a little, as while the instrumentals in most parts are interesting they don’t offer as much musical satisfaction as the last record did. Ah well, now I just fancy some ice cream. For more music reviews, free downloads and ice cream check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.
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