This slab of aggression features the trio of Mike Caratti on drums, Josh Sinton on sax and bass clarinet, and Álvaro Domene on electric guitar. Channeling both free jazz and a punk/metal vibe, Domene’s heavily distorted riffing and speed picking are juxtaposed with drones and urgently angular melodies from Sinton. Underneath, Caratti provides staggered rhythms.
All three of these explorers have a penchant for twisting notes, irregular phrasing, and left-of-center explosiveness. Sinton’s bass clarinet, in particular, adds a rich texture to Domene’s doomy grinding. But not all of Synaptic Self is improv. Several tracks are based around pre-established themes, though some of these lead to an open blowout or two.
Comparisons? Slobber Pup’s Pole Axe, for one, but without the quiet parts. A commendable release that explores untrodden paths.