AMN Reviews: Schnellertollermeier – X (2015; Cuneiform Records)

SCHNELLERTOLLERMEIER - X - Cover_HiRes-SchnellerTollerMeier-X-RGBSchnellertollermeier, the namesake of guitarist Manuel Troller, bassist Andi Schnellmann, and drummer David Meier, move to the Cuneiform Records label for this, their third release. In it, this Swiss trio explore the jagged boundaries of progressive and math rock. Alternating between stop-on-a-dime rhythms and thoughtful ambiance, X provides a take on modern experimental music from musicians too young and demiurgic to care about artificial labels such as genre.

The 20-minute title track, for instance, could have been a product of Dillinger Escape Plan, but without metallic riffing and vocals. On the other hand, Backyard Lipstick, clocking in at just over 2 minutes, sets forth a rather unique combination of tribal rhythms, guitar effects, and whistling.  Massacre du Printemps takes a different angle, with in-your-face staggered drum pounding and all instruments contributing to interlocking themes.

Schnellertollermeier can be likened to some of the aggressive prog rock / noise from Japan, such as Happy Family and Ruins, but with a distinctly Euro flavor.  They are well-placed with other math-rock labelmates such as Ahleuchatistas and Upsilon Acrux. X is a worthy release for fans of these bands, or anyone looking for a new take on the power trio format.

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