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Adai / Kongh ... I Carry

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01. The March... 02. And Termination 03. Home 04. A Mark of Ownership 05. Hawkins
2008 Radar Recordings
Our score 7

by Nick
10/2/2008

Post rock/metal tends to come with all of the bells and whistles. Extravagant arrangements, electronic ambience, competing guitar harmonies, and the occasional string section are not uncommon elements in a style of music striving to deliver dynamic, expansive soundscapes. But what about the other end of the spectrum Can this style be pulled off without these seemingly essential standards Denver's Adai likes to think so, and with their debut EP, ... I Carry (and its wider re-release on Radar Recordings), the duo provides quite a few arguments in their favor. Their secret lies in guitarist Devin Mendoza's clear affinity for writing and executing thick melodic progressions in moments of dynamic necessity, and sparse, moody segues to bridge the gap between the crushing climaxes. The lead-off one-two punch of "The March..." and "And Termination" displays just this, as Mendoza rips through darkly melodic guitar melodies, peaking midway through the latter track alongside Justin Trujillo's explosive drumming. And while movie quotes might be long past the point of being overdone, closing the pair of tracks with a classic Office Space quote seems oddly fitting. "Home" has Mendoza intermittently stepping up to the mic, contributing low screams that shy away from the forefront, instead adding additional textures to the track. The EP comes to a close with the nine minute epic, "Hawkins," a fluid showcase of songwriting dynamics as it builds from tom-heavy drumming accompanied by clean guitar work into multiple swells of instrumental energy. On the whole, Adai does a pretty slick job blending the later output of Isis with a few of Jupiter-era Cave In's more expansive moments. And for a band with a single guitarist, this release sure has a thick sound that isn't hindered in the least by the lack of a bassist. Perhaps the only asterisk that comes with Adai's impressively full sound is the band's frequent (but not constant) use of layered guitar parts. This could be a case similar to that of Russian Circles, where Mike Sullivan has made a name for himself by pulling off some cleverly arranged guitar loops in a live setting, or simply evidence of the duo opting to include additional guitar tracks for a fuller recorded sound. But even though the recording may paint a slightly more complex picture than which could be handled by a pair of musicians, the fact that Mendoza and Trujillo are adamant about maintaining the duo in a live setting helps preserve their novel approach. And with such a strong guitar sound rooted in plenty of low-end, they don't leave room for any doubt that their live performance sounds any less full. Bottom Line: Sure, you've probably got a ton of post-rock/metal records by now, but are any of them by a duo Adai's stripped down approach to a genre typically saturated with frivolous musical touches should raise more than a few eyebrows. ... I Carry is a great start for a young band. Pay attention to these guys in the future.

23 comments

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Joseph Addai_ 10/2/2008 3:48:15 PM

NAW BITCH, I DOES!


Mike_ 10/2/2008 3:53:12 PM

*beats me to Joseph Addai joke*


xomertax_ 10/2/2008 6:10:03 PM

^^^ haha yes. This album is awesome


xote_ 10/2/2008 10:07:37 PM

good band will check this out.


tower_ 10/3/2008 1:48:16 AM

you have to be shitting me....nick again... f*ck this website.. get some new f*cking reviewers.. jesus f*cking christ.


j33bus_ 10/3/2008 2:16:34 AM

yeah cuz this hasn't been out for f*cking ages


tower_ 10/3/2008 2:23:40 AM

"yeah cuz this hasn't been out for f*cking ages"


Mighty lol_ 10/3/2008 8:05:26 AM

Lolz @ tower clearly having the latent urge to put Nick's dick in his mouth.


Nick_ 10/3/2008 8:25:46 AM

It was self-released a while ago and re-released on a label. Just like the Romans CD.


themoustachemassacre_ 10/3/2008 11:56:56 AM

Great album and dudes are cool as f*ck. We rub dix.


mustard,colonel_ 10/3/2008 4:21:04 PM

good dudez, crazy amounts od equipment, lots of heart, good songwriting, crazy drummer, did i mention good dudez and the amount of purety and energy(talent) put into there music?


Kevin_ 10/3/2008 5:53:44 PM

This band is awesome, and I've never heard a female rule so hard on the drums. 9/10


tower_ 10/3/2008 6:44:36 PM

This band is awesome, and I've never heard a female rule so hard on the drums. 9/10----- uhhhhhhh


anonymous 10/3/2008 10:01:47 PM

you like everything, you easily impressed, like-everything gay


eckstothezee_ 10/4/2008 12:07:50 PM

When dis song comes on in da club they gonna be like daaamn, thats hot


hawkins_ 10/4/2008 3:21:04 PM

lol my name is on lambgoat lol


Brent_ 10/6/2008 11:54:04 AM

My name is on Lambgoat. Hah.


PremonitionsOfCrotchBotch_ 10/6/2008 3:37:07 PM

Rofl .My name is on Lambgoat. Rofl.


uhh_ 10/6/2008 5:59:26 PM

"This band is awesome, and I've never heard a female rule so hard on the drums. 9/10" Justin Trujillo is a chick? Interesting...


The Tower_ 10/6/2008 9:11:03 PM

I guess Justin Trujillo has that whole Boy Named Sue thing going on. Anyway, she rocks at drums, and this was a great cd 8/10.


anonymous 10/7/2008 8:22:20 PM

didn't one of these guys play in botch?


Fur_Beach_ 10/8/2008 3:32:28 PM

i enjoy this cd. its just too short in my opinion, with only two songs over 3 minutes long, and both of those songs can be found on the bands myspace. I'd download this if I were you and wait for a full length...


cornfused_ 10/17/2008 3:18:09 AM

wasn't one of these guys in botch? Is it just a coincidence that this was reviewed at the same time as narrows?