Thursday, February 05, 2009
Millions—Gather Scatter (Seventh Rule)
Considering their label (Seventh Rule is home to Wetnurse and Light Yourself on Fire), I expected Millions to deliver a high level of intensity on Gather Scatter. Millions also features Seventh Rule founder Scott Flaster on guitar/vocals, so again, I expected to hear the label's aesthetic of no-nonsense, hard-hitting musical intelligence in full flight. Expectations are fully met as “Lest the Professor Catches Fire” bursts out of the gate, jarring, dissonant, yet still rocking a bunch. Unlike a thousand other tech-punk bands disappearing up their own arseholes with shrill, soulless études, Millions manage to sidestep everything clichéd and “core”. I can’t point to anything that’s “metal” about their sound, other than the sheer volume and aggression. They don't gum up the works with secondhand At the Gates riffs and rehashed Maiden harmonies. Such boyish pursuits won't do here. Millions are taut and relentless, yet they rejoice in rock ’n’ roll riffs and churning bass lines that doff the cap to The Jesus Lizard, Black Flag, and Nomeansno. They’ve got the approach, the mixture of elements, fully sussed. What makes Millions special is their ability to temper the clamour; mainly with those big riffs, yes, but also with twin guitars that do battle masterfully, peeling off and converging like a formation flying team. The action never flags. Sure, I might need some quiet time after noisefests like “Saddle Up and Ride” and “We Make Poor Decisions,” but fully functioning songs like “Getting the Last Word” and “Life is Satisfactory” pulse with hooks and urgency. What's a little turbulence when the trip as a whole is so enjoyable?