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End Of Level Boss: Eklectric

It seems that no sub genre is safe from the Prog treatment these days and with that in mind, step up to the plate Progressive Stoner act End Of Level Boss, who have recently unleashed their third batch of juggernaut sized riffs and overtly Proggy themes, Eklectric. Pigeon holing this band is pleasantly difficult and while the likes of Kyuss, Jane's Addiction, Soundgarden and King Crimson do fleetingly receive a deft nod of the head, to say that EOLB actually sound like any of these acts would be stretching it somewhat.

Drummer Neil Grant takes centre stage through much of this album, with his almost complete refusal to put "four on the floor" being both End Of Level Boss's greatest strength and their ultimate downfall. The thick riffs, which at times even recall a sick twisted Jimmy Page like strength are jagged and angular, which along with the ever changing beats, rhythms and tempos creates a never ending build of tension, which Grant's flailing, stop-start, stop-stop-stop-GO style of drumming refuses to ever release. It does make for heady stuff, but also leaves you feeling rather too detached from songs which never stop to invite you in at any stage. Don't get me wrong, the level of musicianship is supremely high and as a collective they make for an extremely tight outfit, but whether they make music you'd want to listen to again and again, well that's a different matter. Add to that conundrum singer Harry Armstrong, who comes from the school of shout in tune and you'll have another question to ponder as to whether his full on attack embellishes, or diminishes the power of these songs. As with almost everything on Eklectric, the answer is mixed, with his full throated rasp delivering fistfuls of angst in the same measure as they grate on the nerves.

If the idea of uncompromising and skilfully presented Stoner-Prog has intrigued your more adventurous side, then there's no doubt that End Of Level Boss will excite and invigorate. Whether they do so to such an extent as to make you enjoy the end results is questionable.

Track Listing
1.As the Earth Forgets Us
2.This is Not the Way it Was
3.Mouth of Hats
4.Thee Absurd
8.If Not All
9Lost in the Etalon
10.Red Grey Eye

Added: November 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
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Hits: 2213
Language: english

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