New Noise :: Cinemechanica

This happens every year. January comes and I churn out a list of my top ten (or twenty-one, as the case might be) records of the year, knowing full well that I'll discover something in the first months of the new year that, had I heard it, would've made it on the list.

Well, Athens' Cinemechanica wouldn't just have made the list — they would've placed very highly. I've always said that what betrays a band most is its selection of cover songs. Well, I came across Cinemechanica — and its 2006 relase The Martial Arts — upon hearing the quintet covered the soundtrack to Contra in its entirety at the Georgia Theatre in Athens. For those of you unfamiliar with the score to the eight-bit NES classic, it's an impressive feat, and one that requires massive chops to pull off successfully.

So it goes without saying, then, that Cinemechanica can flat out play. Categorically speaking, it's easy to lump Cinemechanica into the math rock genre with Drive Like Jehu, but applying the term here just doesn't do the band justice. Cinemechanica eschews the masturbatory forays into self-indulgent guitar wankery that bogs down so many math rock bands, opting instead to keep the odometer pinned with post-hardcore urgency. (Think a more metal Fugazi or Celebrate the New Dark Age-era Polvo on cheap trucker speed.) The influence is most notable in the twisting, frantic dual-guitar outbursts of Bryant Williamson and Andy Pruett, which rip through monster riffs and snaky post-punk leads. The twitchy rhythms of the two-headed drum monster of Mike Albanese and Jeremy Fountain — yes, that's two drummers — recall the best licks of Brendan Canty and provide a perfectly solid and tasty backbeat for the unbridled fury of jams like "Braintarp" and "I'm Tired of Paul McCartney."

Critics have compared the band to Dischord's finest, and that's an apt comparison. There's a definite Fugazi and Q and Not U influence here, but Cinemechanica's much too razor-sharp to be defined by band comparisons.

Cinemechanica Braintarp
Cinemechanica Bruckheimer

The video for "I'm Tired of Paul McCartney."

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