Rhythm & Views

Car Bomb

It would be one thing if Long Island's Car Bomb sounded like its namesake; our review would be easier to write. Instead, this nausea-inducing technical-grind quartet sounds like an explosive loaded with ... what? Rusty nails? Radioactive material? The band is volatile all right, but in that really horrible way that involves secondary and tertiary devices strategically placed to dismember any arriving medical personnel. Play Car Bomb's debut CD loud enough, and you'll swear that some of the psychotic shrieking is your own and not entirely created by vocalist Michael Dafferner.

For fans of Converge, Pig Destroyer and the Locust, Car Bomb doesn't offer much that's new, save for a choppier delivery and a willingness to allow eerie moments of silence to carry things forward for a while. A piece of ordnance like "M^6" reeks of menace and insanity, making you wonder if what you're hearing was produced by flesh-eating robots rather than mere flesh-and-blood humans. "Solid Grey" offers bits of singing and sparse melody that ultimately give way to crushing doom riffage meant to transmit chills up and down the listener's spine. "Rid," meanwhile, is a 30-second pulverizing roller coaster ride that wraps up with an ambient section so spectral it sounds like the passengers have arrived at God's waiting room.

Centralia is by no means a groundbreaking release, but it is one of those rare aggressive-music efforts that clears the sinuses, so to speak. Plus, it's perfect for evacuating unwanted guests and killing off any and all nearby plant life!

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