Reviews

ADAI’S …I CARRY SHOWS DOOMY PROMISE

Rating
30

Between soaring inflation and a lagging economy, jobs disappearing and wages stagnating everyone has had to cut back. Maybe you make fewer trips in your car to save on gas. Maybe you limit your groceries to the barest necessities. Maybe you’ve managed to talk your wife out of having another kid so you won’t need to worry about feeding one more person in your home. Maybe you’ve scaled back your band’s membership from four people to just two. Like Adai, for example. Hey if it can work for great acts like the White Stripes, Jucifer and Sunn O))) then why not? Besides, considering the number of inept producers and idiot engineers who can’t seem to figure out how to make the bass guitar audible in the final mix (poor, poor Robert Trujillo) why bother with one, right?

Adai consists of a drummer and a guitarist/vocalist. Their style of music is similar to doom/sludge but seems a bit more…shall we say, Progressive? The sound of the band isn’t mired in low-end feedback or paced with a dragging sluggishness. At times Devin M’s axework can be quite melodic but don’t kid yourself into thinking they’re big on Maiden. The vocals are sporadic, incidental and barely audible growls like you might expect from a drone act. By and large this EP, running just under 24 minutes, is instrumental; and while it can be hit and miss, it does showcase a couple musicians that might evolve into a convincing force within a subgenre whose adherents are largely devotional.

“Home” and “Hawkins” are the meat of this release, the former nearing the eight minute mark while the latter stretches almost to ten. “Home” takes a little while to get interesting and the inclusion of guitar overdubs seems curious considering they’re trying to pull off the whole “Hey, there’s only two of us!” gimmick. But the way the song builds, drops, then builds again to a satisfying climax manages to impress, especially given the fact that this is, after all, the band’s freshman effort.

“Hawkins,” to the contrary, is interesting from the start, with shifting time signatures, a marshal rhythm and an arresting melody on top of dynamics that enthrall the listener to follow along on the journey. As it progresses it diminishes, becomes compressed, then propels itself forward, shifts from a minor chord dirge and embraces major chord hopefulness before building up to an ending which possesses a great deal of heartfelt ambiance and atmosphere.

But the rest of …I Carry is somewhat uneven. After a quick minute and a half introductory piece that is easily forgettable, the album roars into the not-much-lengthier “And Termination” which begins with a gritty, memorable melody before crashing into a bombastic and crunchy riff that melts into some emotive, if overly simplistic, licks. Strangely, the guitar and drums don’t sound in sync for a great deal of this recording and while it doesn’t necessarily come across as embarrassingly sloppy it dulls a little of the power while still lending the music a garage feel that might be endearing to some listeners.

Based on the album highlights I’d say that Adai are a band to watch, as this brief introduction shows quite a bit of promise. Given a little more time, care and budget, as well as elevated production, Adai could very well evolve into a force with which to be reckoned amongst those that enjoy this particular style.

-CR


(Three out of Five horns)

[Adai on MySpace]

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