Electric Electric: Discipline

Mysterious but brilliant percussive math-prog debut.

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In the internet age an air of mystery is hard to maintain. Some bands cultivate mystique with cloak-and-dagger antics that end in an inevitable PR blitz, but not Electric Electric. An inactive French domain name and French label imply the nationality of the group, but there the trail runs pretty cold.

Fortunately their music tells us so much. It pulsates with pseudo-world music rhythms that suggest the calypso affectation of math-rock heavyweights Battles, but the guitars are more dramatic.

Where the layers of electronics and percussion could have created something breezy, darker guitars tie the eclectic backing together. At other times, they sear, recalling Three Trapped Tigers’ atmospheric, sinister melodic turns. La Centrale could almost be Everything Everything attempting to fuse post-rock and new wave, while Pornographic Arithmetic showcases their rhythm section at its infectiously frantic best.

The title track and Summer’s Eye meanwhile are riff-led, angular math-prog numbers squeezed between abstract tunes. For all its eccentricities, Discipline might be one of the most ambitious and capriciously brilliant records you’ll hear this or any year.