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Dysrhythmia | Pretest | review | metal | Lollipop


Pretest (Relapse)
by Tim Den

Dysrhythmia had me the moment I heard their track on Contaminated 5.0. Pretest, their debut for Relapse, pulls the reins just a tad tighter on the instrumental trio's complex arrangements, allowing sparse melody and breathing room to build up much of the tension. No doubt Steve Albini's "so live it's like you're in the room with them" production lent Pretest an air of organic spontaneity, but it's the trio's grasp of balance that really communicates the music's ideas and contours. Unlike The Cancer Conspiracy or Don Caballero, Dysrythmia are not interested in playing the most complicated, fucked up eight-minute instrumental on the planet. They'd rather dance around each other's gliding shadows, never too far behind to fall off, yet never getting ahead of one another. Like figure skating partners choreographing a routine that fits them as closely together without mimicking each other, Pretest's performances and songwriting fit like a glove... but with each finger its own entity at the same time.

After four or five listens, I still find something new to focus on every time I play this. And maybe that's just cuz I'm a music geek - prog instrumentals aren't for the average housewife, I'll admit that - but for those in the know, listening to a band as economic-yet-detailed as Dysrhythmia is like watching a seagull do effortless flips in the air, nose dive at the drop of a hat, fish a prey out of the sea, and fly 180 degrees in the opposite direction without breaking continuity. Graceful.
(PO Box 2060 Upper Darby, PA 19082)

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