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Juxtapositions: 5th Projekt/Catscans

December 13, 2011

You’d be forgiven if you thought that 5th Projekt was from New Orleans instead of Toronto: two of the hardest-rocking tunes on their new album V are “Hurricane” and “Juggernaut,” where huge-voiced Tara Rice is quite concerned about levees breaking. And when I say hard-rocking, I mean it; 5th Projekt’s music spans the distance from minimalist trip-hop to thrashy metal sections (of which “Juggernaut” has the most suprisingly convoluted). They live off the juxtapositions: the rock which falls between the two extremes thrives off lithe rhythms backed by crushing guitars, as in “Walk Away (Exodus)” and “Psych 66.”

The larger contrasts come from really quiet songs like the delicate “Aria” and the ragers like closer “This Is Not Love,” the latter of which starts off similarly to the former before turning into a roar. The band really shows their instrumental and songwriting chops on V, creating an impressive album that fans of artsy rock (i.e. Radiohead, not Rush) will love. Check out their site for a free sampler of three tunes from the album.

Catscans‘ 15-minute, 3-song self-titled EP bridges the gap between technical prog rock and emotive post-rock. They do this by literally laying traditional elements of the genres on top of each other. In “Choeung Ek Memorial (Killing Fields),” prog’s bleating synth bass and wiry guitar lines are paired up with non-linguistic vocal melodies and violin contributions of post-rock; later, they crush the whole song with a filthy guitar distortion, then bring back the violin on top of it.

You can see their ethos in their album art: organic growing out electronic is an apt description, as both “Lost and Found” and “Untergang” build off the basic template established by “Choeung Ek.” The band has established its ideas well, sounding totally comfortable in their own skin. Fans of post-rock or prog-rock, apply within.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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