VOLCANO! know that creating organised chaos is a laborious, time-consuming process. After almost four years toiling over carefully considered musical structures that sound more like deliberate musical spillages; Piñata is ready. The Chicago band’s third album is the embodiment of the phrase ‘what an earth just happened?’ In a good way. Crashing straight into the eponymous Piñata, in a flurry of fuzz from electronic thumps and frenzied drum beats. Aaron With’s yelps; similar to Yeasayer, are overwhelmed by energetic, artificial sounds. With’s vocal rage and his creepy burst into forced laughter in Supply and Demand is not dissimilar to what Modest Mouse get up to. Unafraid of making an aural mess, the song is littered with guitar wails and bleeps. Rushing into the crazed and hypnotic Platebreaker proves With’s created a comic, signature warbling style that many singers tinker with, but shy away from on a larger scale.
That’s not to say Volcano! can’t reign in the energy without fidgeting. In Fighter With creates a passion in his deep warble tones, building into a troubled, but emotional climax. Lyrically, this album is a darker offering from Volcano!. Complete with surrealism and dreamlike situations; it’s an album based on some pretty weird fantasies. St Mary of Nazareth has a storyline worthy of a comic book collection, with the song transporting you to a spaceship disguised as a Catholic hospital, complete with alien nuns. Of course! Hurrying along to the finale; Long Gone is a track that maintains irrational rhythms but has a joyful pop quality hidden under shouts and electrical squeaks. Whether it’s a coincidence or an intentional concept, the record plays like a sugar-fuelled kid beating the hell out of a swinging Piñata. The trio have certainly taken a whack to the idea of musical structure, and are all too giddy at the mess. Piñata leaves you in a haze of erratic time signatures and experimental blurs. Volcano! make music that is unpredictable and by all stretches of the imagination explosive; listening to the LP is most likely to leave you with a feeling of; ‘it was good but I can’t remember why’.
Reviewed for Incendiary Magazine. Published online: 11th June 2012
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