Battles is a band that are well and truly the sum of their parts. They comprise ex Helmut musicians and an experimental jazz artist. On paper...it really shouldn't work as well as it does.
The first track that caught my attention was the single 'Atlas', a pounding call to arms of a beat, peppered with vocoded samples and chugging guitars.
Some journalists have referred to this band as 'math-rock', but that doesn't really fit in with the way I have understood the band so far. Sure, it combines a lot of the clinical beats, time signatures and pendulum accuracy that are key characteristics to the genre, but there is a lot more in these songs than an awkward rhythm. There is, by turns, heart, warmth, aggression and an almost obsessive desire to create an album that cannot be directly linked to any particular influence and has no particular forebear (as of yet).
A standout album that is really an inspiration of what can be achieved with imagination and skill.