Rock music is dead? No one sent the memo to Adebisi Shank.
Those who have been following Adebisi Shank over the years may not be surprised to hear that the band has created one of 2014’s best rock albums. Indeed, previous offerings have shown much promise and a host of creativity, but Third Album is really in a league of its own and catapults this Irish trio into the top of the math rock class.
Third Album is just as rocking as its predecessors, but a new found emphasis on electronic elements is present. Synths and vocoders are liberally employed on this release, which runs the risk of overuse and moving the band into that “too silly to be taken seriously” and cheese-filled area, but somehow the band makes it work. It is perhaps the breakneck speed at which the tracks are fired off that really keeps the audience engaged just long enough that it’s not really aware that it’s been led into a mutilated Candyland fun-mare (perhaps taking a cue from Anamanaguchi’s supremely executed Endless Fantasy). Half the tracks on the album don’t break four minutes, and the entirety clocks in at a comfortable thirty-five. All the fat has been trimmed and we’re just treated the the lean meat on Third Album.
It seems worth mentioning that this is an album that really shines on singles. Although the musical elements more than easily tie everything together into a coherent whole, the album is bursting at the seams with expressive tracks that beg to be played on repeat. “Big Unit,” “Voodoo Vision,” and “World in Harmony” will likely be early favorites, but the dazzling fusion of “Sensation” likely takes the cake as the album’s best track. Everything else really impresses as well — even the uncharacteristically mellow closer “(trio always),” which could possibly hint at some more introspective work on the horizon.
All told, it’s hard to find a more energetic or more fun album than Adebisi Shank’s Third Album. Essential listening.