Band â€â€œ Adebisi Shank
Album â€â€œ This is an Album of a band called Adebisi Shank
Label â€â€œ Richter Collective
Release date â€â€œ 11th September
Sounds like â€â€œ Thousands of effects pedals being switched on at the same time, then thrown at a drum during a rave. In another dimension. Hundreds of years into the future. By an evil scientist.
In the far distant future, something catastrophic must have happened to music. Maybe it has been outlawed? Maybe Bono has been given a robotic body and now controls the airwaves, with ‘Beautiful Day‘ being piped into people’s brains every morning to wake them up so they can all dance around the Joshua Tree and pray for 6 more weeks of good harvest? I don’t know. It’s certainly one explanation as to why Adebisi Shank are here. Obviously, they have been sent from the future to save our planet from whatever grisly fate awaits our airwaves. I’m guessing the same group that sent them through also sent Jas ‘Babylon Zoo‘ Mann who did pretty well, but ultimately disappeared to the realms of one hit wonder after the bat-shit insane ‘Spaceman‘ single.
What Iâ€™m trying to say (in the most convoluted way possible) is that (to these feeble ears,) Adebisi Shank are years ahead of us. They have a sound that annihilates the music of nearly every other band I’ve heard over the course of this year.
Describing Adebisi Shank is a tricky one: You know Battles? Imagine them, but without the shitty high-pitched vocals that sound like E.T. rapping through a casio keyboard.Ã‚Â You know Don Caballero? Imagine them, but actually playing together as opposed to a confused mash-up of drums and guitars that don’t really fit (oh, and faster.) Combine these, along with the grinding baritone wail of That Fucking Tank and you’re about halfway towards the sound this Irish 3-piece make.
The immediate start of ‘You Me‘ comes across as somewhat of a shock; all gnarly rasping bass, screeching guitar and rampant drumming. What then follows is a robotic bleat of the trackâ€™s title and the effect-laden squeal from the guitarist’s instrument, before crashing into another round of pulverising rock ‘n roll. Itâ€™s only tempered at the halfway stage, as the drum roll heralds a calming, almost atmospheric passage, before allowing the bass (which grows louder every second) to punctuate through, erupting into yet another blast of schizophrenic sound.
‘DODR‘ gives me the kind of heady rush that only 8 hours on a rollercoaster could provide. It twists and turns with such an unpredictable strength, it’s a bit like the lottery but in a musical form. I think what I love most about this track, is how at the 2 minute mark, it all seems to slow, except for the bass, which continues to persistantly chip away. Suddenly it crunches into a monstrous slab of turbulent instrumental punk rock, that cuts off far too suddenly – desperately leaving me wanting more.
The 3rd track, ‘Colin Skehan‘ is the kind of song At The Drive-In would probably kill their own mothers to play (if they were still together that is.) It hammers away with the same vicious and energetic pulse the El Paso 5 piece had and makes me want to interpret the fitful and vigorous moves of Cedric Bixler in that legendary Jools Holland performance.
The robotic vocals return on the 4th track, ‘Shunk‘ although all I can make out is the words â€œget upâ€Â and I donâ€™t even think thatâ€™s correct. At some points it sounds like the guitarist is rolling over all his effects pedals, whilst howling into a broken microphone, fed through a stylophone, whilst the other two band members continue thrashing their instruments to near destruction.
The next track I canâ€™t even begin to describe, but shall I shall endeavour to. It starts off fairly typical for the ‘Shank, incredible beat, jazzy, meandering guitar and bass lines and a suitably fast-paced section that again, slows down to some simple, almost delicate strumming. Then it all goes completely owl-wax city. It’s like someone spliced together a segment from a club anthem and remixed it with the most unstable and mesmerising riffs ever. The drumming is completely out of this world and cannot be praised enough. It throbs, pulsates and rages like someone playing a Ministry of Sound album in an explosion on board a spaceship. I’m now collapsed in a heap trying to type this, after throwing myself around my room like an angrier version of Chev Chelios. I doubt anyone would be able to stay still whilst listening to ‘Minirockers‘, it’s a revolution of sound; splicing heady club-inspired beats and angular art-punk.
Those feeling that the quality is sure to drop couldnâ€™t be more wrong. ‘Agassi Shank‘ carves out deep furrows of agitated glitch-rock, still infused with this seemingly relentless force. How do they do it? Not even track 7,Ã‚Â the excellently titledÃ‚Â ‘I answer to Doc‘Ã‚Â offer any respite, simply continues this lesson in how Adebisi Shank are playing probably the most elaborate and remarkable music you’ve ever heard.
It closes with the handclap-covered riffs of ‘Snakehips‘, which races along with unlimited tightness and precision. The breakdown at the end is a churning, frothy sea of high-pitched guitar whines, metallic drum beats and distorted bass. A fitting end to what has been one hell of a ride.
Not once are you given chance to breathe. Adebisi Shank grabs you by the collar and tosses you into the air, relentlessly pummelling you all the way down with their persistent, unstoppable musical barrage. A superb, enthralling piece of work by 3 incredibly talented musicians and one album that I urge, no, demand you all to experience. The future of rock music? I think so. Also, any band that advises you to draw all over their album cover/sleeve due to it all being designed to look like the inside of a blank maths book gets my vote.
P.s. the band are touring at the moment and will be on our fair shores in October. I strongly urge you to check out their live set, which will no doubt be brilliant. Bring your dancing shoes for ‘Minirockers.’
To listen to ‘You Me‘ by Adebisi Shank, click on the player below. In the words of Speedo, “Crank it, don’t spank it.”
By Ross Macdonald