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Moment of Chaos is a debut bursting with musical ideas, bright and brash but meticulously well executed, with enthusiasm that runs over the edges.

The three-piece rock ‘n’ roll band brings such an impressive pallet that it’s a challenge just to keep up. It takes multiple listens to begin understanding just how much raw determination and talent is behind these songs.

Though the title is Moment of Chaos, the whole album seems to be an exercise in tightly controlled chaos. It’s a lot to take in at once, but the ever-shifting sounds fit beautifully together in context, a feat of great sequencing as well.

Readymade, the exhilarating nine-minute opener, is like sprinting up a flight of steps – the changes come incrementally, but quick enough to be a blur. There are shifts in tone and tempo throughout, from its acoustic beginning through bluesy breaks to the spacey guitar jam out that hits the realm of Built To Spill or Crazy Horse. And the lyrics ramp up the ominous quotient just a bit more: “If you’re going to fight in every battle, please be on my side.”

Planet Matter is a wild instrumental that rushes by with the jitteriness of math-rock, each player (Nate Jasensky on guitar, Chris Pierce on bass and Jim Borquez on drums) weaving tightly together for quicker and quicker flights. With its spooky, hollow echo, Come & Gone is country music for a horror movie.

Halation stacks up meaty riffs, pushing close to the prog-metal realm, not screamy but nonetheless recalling Tool, especially with lyrics like “I will caress this light that I have found here.” The instrumental Robot Butterfly starts acoustic but drives strongly toward funk, while Moosecall is built around pummeling drums and drops into a breakneck pace, featuring the album’s catchiest moments on its punk-style chorus.

In terms of theme, through sound, lyrics and album artwork, Moment of Chaos keeps pressing toward the notion of some futuristic alienation and powerlessness, all the more troubling for how little we know of the future’s potential doom.

Published April 1, 2011 in Zócalo.

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Eric Swedlund is a writer, photographer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. His music writing has appeared regularly in the Tucson Weekly, Phoenix New Times, East Bay Express, The Rumpus and Souciant Magazine.

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