Monday, 30 April 2012

Codex Leicester - A Mad Man's Lullaby EP

I guess Codex Leicester fall into that ‘math-rock-post-hardcore’ category that plenty of bands have been stuck in recent years, though from the evidence here, they are way more about the huge blasts of noise than twiddly little guitar parts. Opener ‘Strong Like Bull’ sort of sounds like a mesh of Tubelord and (maybe) Oceansize or Yourcodenameis:milo, either way, it’s gets the listeners attention.

The rest of A Mad Man’s Lullaby follows a similar style. Little guitar and/or synth part, big wall of noise, repeat. The band don’t break many boundaries musically, but they’re rather good at what they do. ‘Concrete Stetson’ provides the EP’s highlight, mainly for being totally mental. Less than two minutes of huge guitars, echoed synths and damaged vocals. It’s brutal and comfortably short enough for that not to get waring.

The flaws may lie in the EP’s production more than anything else. The tracks manage to retain their power for the most part, yet at times the vocals are a little too high in the mix, and it feels like there may be one too many instruments being squeezed in. Take ‘Oh Wichita’, it feels like there is a great track in there, but once in the studio there’s just a few too many layers. It’s a combination of not wanting to sound too clean and wanting to add loads of layers that is risky to say the least.

Still, it’s a strong statement from the band. Brutal and to-the-point, it definitely keeps you entertained throughout, although the prospect of an album of that is a little daunting. Maybe it would have benefited from being a little less produced, I imagine these songs thrashed out live could be fairly brilliant.


Sean Collison

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