Skronk widdle, krunk widdle, skronk widdle wah wah wah.
There’s a danger to the type of noisecore perfected first by Dillinger Escape Plan, The End, Botch and the like – if you’re not careful, you end up with no tunes.
All the fancy tapping in the world can’t get you out of that one.
So Belfast’s Fragments have mixed in a bit of moody post rock to make all those dissonant chords and eccentric taps a bit more meaningful.
The danger with post rock, of course, being it’s usually all post and no rock.
The kind of difficult call it is to make this music was demonstrated by Fragments last time I caught them live. All good, all tight, all energetic. Essentially though, a band of rhythmic play, rather than songwriting as such. That was the first impression anyhow.
So their demo presents a better place to take in what they do.
Suspicions still linger of fannying about with clever beats for their own sake. Repeated listening though lets you crawl inside what they’re trying to get at.
Opener ‘To The Water’ is pretty self explanatory, with its initial technicality giving way to a damp, echoed and open breather. It has mood, and aside from stealing a little line from the Tubular Bells,
swells amicably before knuckling down again.
The lengthy ‘The Faceless Grey’ is up next, and continues on the theme: overtly technical exercises balanced by bleaker atmospheres later on. You kind of have to enter the idea of it rather than the music itself.
Does that make it less valid musically? Not really. It’s much more rewarding on cd than live, where the quick fix is generally needed.
It’s thick, well produced and well played. A decent listen for sure, and there’s no doubt this genre still fascinates enough people (even from its heyday eleven years ago) that it will prove relevant for many.
Where Fragments excel is their opening out. Were I to criticise, I’d say that has to happen with the technicality, to weave through and join it, rather than it coming in blocked off sections. They could really be on to something then.
With sad, ghostly samples nicely used to good effect (‘End Of Invention’), there’s even a hint to the likes of Frantic Bleep. Which is a pretty cool recommendation.
– Earl Grey ::: 5/4/11