Cleft – Bosh!

Reviewed by Foofer

I tend to judge a math rock album based on how much it makes me think while I’m listening to it. If I were to listen to “Bosh!” enough, I think I might come up with the cure for cancer. The way they shift from one time signature to the next is literally flawless, you can’t tell unless you’re actively listening to it. And just when you think you know what the rest of the album is going to be like, they turn the tables and come at you from a completely unpredictable angle. It’s not very often you hear a math-rock album with this much distortion in the guitar. First time you hear the guitar without distortion, you’re already halfway through the album. That in and of itself makes it a noteworthy band to me.

After the album ends, you feel like a small child. “Again, again!” you think to yourself as you press play for the second time. But that’s you start seeing the flaws, cracks, and wrinkles.

On the first listen, I really enjoyed the way they compose their tunes, it’s got a flow to it like a violent river; you can tell where it’s going, but there are lots of bumps and jumps along the way. The second time through, I realized it doesn’t really flow as an album, it really seems more like a collection of songs thrown together with no regard to how they relate to each other, like a best of Cleft! album.

The first time I heard this album, I was floored when I found out they were a two-piece band. Being a two-piece band and sounding this good is a very difficult thing to do, but after some sleep and renewed ears, I really think they’d benefit greatly from a third band member. What little bass there is seems to just follow what the guitarist is doing, it’s underwhelming to say the least. Also, the quality of the recordings seems to vary from song to song, making for a very jarring experience.

Don’t get me wrong, the album is wonderful to listen to, it’s just not a technical achievement by any means. It feels like a very raw album, and maybe that’s what they were going for, but I hope to see something more polished from them in the future.

On a final and completely superfluous note, I love how the “Hostage” single is the album art from a different perspective. Nice touch.

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tags: 2-piece instrumental math rock rock uk mathrock odd post-rockprogressive turbo Manchester