Kurt Vile & the Violators
Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 5/12
All Roads Lead Here EP
Written by: AP on 11/09/2012 12:57:50
Chimp Spanner is the alias of Paul Antonio Ortiz, a multi-instrumentalist and composer from the English town of Colchester, who uses the moniker to create music he personally describes as ambient, progressive metal. Modern audiences are likely to also append the terms instrumental and djent to the description, given the absence of any vocals in the music, and his use of 7- and 8-string guitars and aberrant time signatures. "All Roads Lead Here" is his third release, arriving in the wake of the two full-length albums "Imperium Vorago" and "At the Dream's Edge", the latter of which earned him a record deal with Basick Records as well as extensive touring opportunities, which no doubt explain his decision to write just the six songs required for this new EP during last year.
Without wanting to seem like a total wanker, for me the most apt description of the style Chimp Spanner works with is elevator music for guitar aficionados, because let's be honest, the main purpose of such complex music must be to demonstrate Ortiz' technical abilities as a musician, and not so much his prowess in songwriting. Erratic stop/start dynamics are the name of the game in "Möbius Pt. I", which sounds more like a statement from Ortiz that he can, in fact, play with very strange timing than an actual memorable song. Its successors, "Möbious Pt. II" and "Möbius Pt. III" do inject some much needed coherence into the mix, but there is never a sense of adhering to some greater concept to the contrary of what the song titles might suggest. It simply isn't as evocative as the similar djent based instrumentation of similar minded artists like Animals As Leaders or Cloudkicker.
Attaching the djent tag to this stuff is unavoidable, though the music itself is more closely aligned with modern progressive metal. And in all honesty, it is a genre that demands either vocals or an unforgettable groove to be a success; Chimp Spanner's problem is the persistent absence of either, as the songs are so complicated and organic in their structure that they never provide the necessary momentum for headbanging, nor the necessary anchor points to make them stick. Applause muse be given for this guy's skill of musicianship, which will undoubtedly strike you with awe at least briefly, but if you're looking for music with a purpose, you'd best give this one a skip.
Download: Möbius Pt. II, Möbius Pt. III
For the fans of: Animals As Leaders, Cloudkicker, Keith Merrow
Release date 06.02.2012