Influence Sound: Battles ‘Gloss Drop’

December 14, 2020 inspiration


Well, it’s finally here, after four long years, the math-driven band Battles has returned with their second full length album titled Gloss Drop. And after a few listens, I have to say it’s pretty amazing. Though not as surprising as their last intense LP Mirrored, but it’s not far behind. The new songs find the group honing in their sound. With the departure of vocalist Tyondai Braxton, the trio has introduced many more new soundscapes, and feature some notable guest vocalists.

This collection of songs also continues to cement my belief that John Stainer is the best current rock drummer around. I just love the sound of his kit. Multi-musicians Ian Williams and Dave Konopka continue to do what they do best as well, providing a rich, non-traditional wall of complete sound that is nothing like I’ve heard come from others playing the same instruments. I just love those steel drum keyboards sprinkled throughout the album. Standouts so far include Wall Street, Futura, My Machines and Rolls Bayce.

The album art and brand collateral is simple, effective and superb as well. Remember that silly string in compressed air cans? Well it’s proudly featured up close and personal on the album front. For the first single, Ice Cream, the single features just that on the cover. You can order three separate covers, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate–each with respective colored vinyl–awesome. The video for Ice Cream is a little NSFW, so I won’t embed it here, but you can YouTube it if you wish. Premise: woman, ice cream.

I had the privilege to see Battles live at the old Crocodile in Seattle a couple years back and they did not dissapoint. My wife and I even met them before and after the show, and spoke in detail with John Stainer about his awesomeness on all of the Helmet and Tomahawk records. They were/are such nice, humble guys and gave us both shirts afterwards; although they must have thought I wear little kid-sized shirts, because my six year old now wears his Battles shirt proudly. I will plan to see these guys again in July at the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Bonus: Watch new song Futura performed at La Blogotheque below.

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