Gather Scatter

Seventh Rule Recordings chief Scott Flaster has been churning out a slew of noisy, dissonant, and/or angular shots across the musical bow for some time now. Indian, Akimbo, and Lord Mantis all fall into that category in one form or another. As such, it would seem logical that his own band, Millions, would combine all three elements in the form of a full-length debut album on his own label called Scatter Gather (after the Telephone Game EP on Team Abunai Records) to satisfactory, if short lived, effect.

Guitarist Flaster is one of three vocalists (the others guitarist Corey Lyons and bassist Mark Konwinski, with drummer Patrick O’Shea completing the lineup), adding another calamitous element to the controlled chaos. The 27 minutes of noisy, semi-technical, and all bent out of shape metal/hardcore/whatever will likely please fans of the disjointed and demented musical form. Now things don’t get that crazy, but conventional song structures these are not. In fact, the musical interplay can be rather engaging, the shrill guitar counterpoints to a rock-solid – in a diagonally drawn sort of way – rhythm section underneath the urgent vocalizing the core element of the anti-formula. Moments of groove (the ascending riff/rhythm segment on “View from a Sinking Ship”) and something approaching a melody (the tunefully twisted snippets on “Getting the Last Word”) are few, but effective when occurring. And to my ears what sounds like a Fugazi shout-out on “Mile High Cake” is an album standout. I should add that the lyrics are as frantic and desperation-addled as the music.

As for the band’s self-proclamation of its album’s sound as “the neurotic impatience of Black Flag scraping up against the anthemic melodies of King Crimson,” I get the Black Flag piece (and would add Black Elk and unsurprisingly Akimbo, and the catch-all AmRep sound), but let’s reel in those King references, save for the neurotic part. Gather Scatter is not the type of album that makes it into my play lists very often (ok, hardly ever), but those that enjoy this sort of thing should have little about which to complain with Scatter Gather, except for the probable realization that there is nothing new under the sun.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
May 1st, 2009


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