Release Date: May 22, 2007
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
After a string of intermittently brilliant EPs, these hi-tech New York instrumentalists finally release their first proper full-length, and with it propel themselves into quite another league. There was always something uniquely enticing in their amalgam of machine-code guitar hooks, electronics and brainy robotic rhythms, but a new sense of warped pop suss and a constant barrage of ear-catching ideas makes Mirrored all the more surprising and addictive. The biggest change is the addition of vocals - often just wordless, dehumanised hums and whistles, as on the much-praised single Atlas, reinforcing the odd sense of Battles being as much some kind of bio-mechanical experiment as a band.
Review Summary: With "Mirrored" Battles extends their sound past the typical realm of math rock and succeeds.Diluting and at the same time expanding pop music into a schizophrenic joy ride of effect-ridden vocals and math rock sensibility, New York's Battles has created one of the best releases of 2007. Where EP's "B" and "Tras" were held back by their unabashed devotion to late '90's math rock and the '70's kraut scene, Battles debut LP "Mirrored" is a distinctive, addictive, technical paradise. Building their sound of old to it's peak with the inclusion of vocals and making an attempt at increasing their popularity with their recent signing to Warp Records, Battles is poised to become the latest "hot band" in the indie circuit.
In the summer of 2004, Battles had just wrapped up their alphabetically-monikered EP trilogy; it was around that time that I reviewed the final entry for Dusted. I’d already given the first two installments positive coverage in another publication, so I considered myself something of a supporter. And I still do. On their latest recording (and full-length debut), Mirrored, Battles continue to exude musical discipline.