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Even in the Midst...

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Album Review

It seems that Ahleuchatistas' fourth album (their second for Cuneiform Records) takes everything one step further. At least, that is the impression one gets after each listen: tighter, more frantic, more creative, more restless — more. It might even be more subtle. In the field of math rock, where complexity, intricacy, and virtuosity are essential, groups often achieve these key elements at the cost of feeling. Even in the Midst... is not an album that will get all moody, mind you, but bassist Derek Poteat, guitarist Shane Perlowin, and drummer Sean Dail manage to squeeze in a few moments of passion and tenderness — in that regard, "Take Me to Your Leader Never Sounded So Alien" is a masterpiece. The trio's music is still as bare-boned as ever: guitar, bass, and drums; hardly any overdubs; and very little effects. For that, comparisons with labelmates Forever Einstein and Rattlemouth are in order. Tracks on this album are a bit longer than this group's average, with four pieces over five minutes — epic proportions for Ahleuchatistas. Surprisingly, those longer tunes quickly become album highlights. Despite the fact that they contain so many ideas per minute, they remain coherent and exciting, without turning overwhelming. "Swimming Underwater with a Cat on Your Back" and "Prosthetic God" clearly stand out for those reasons. However, the shorter tracks don't disappoint: "Post-Colonial Nausea" and the 56-second "Cup of Substance" will have you wondering how these acrobatics are possible. A strong opus. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in Asheville, North Carolina in 2002, genre-bending experimental rock outfit Ahleuchatistas (pronounced "AH-LOO-CHA-TEES-TAS") utilize elements of jazz, drone, classical, ambient, noise, and garage rock to fuel their alternately spacy and angular, wildly unpredictable instrumentals. Taking their name from an appropriately disparate mash-up of "Ah-leu-cha" (a Charlie Parker song) and Zapatistas (a Mexican revolutionary movement), the band, which consisted of guitarist Shane Perlowin, bassist...
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Even in the Midst..., Ahleuchatistas
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