Published Apr 20, 2020As a supergroup (of sorts) comprised of three Boston musicians from three different musical eras, it's an achievement that E sound so cohesive on Complications. Featuring Thalia Zedek (Live Skull, Come), Gavin McCarthy (Karate) and Jason Sanford (Neptune), the trio feed off one another sonically and expressively for their third full-length.
E lead each of the album's nine angular and steely tracks through instrumentation, including the "monosequencer," a machine which plays a short arrangement of bass notes when stomped, the latest brainchild of noted instrument builder Sanford. This explains why Zedek and Sanford keep the singing brief and tactile, bending their vocals to fit the buzzing guitars and polyrhythmic drum patterns, best demonstrated on tracks like "Caught" and "Sunrise".
As the second half gives way to Sanford's talk-sung vocals, tracks like "Gelding" and "Like a Leaf" are nonetheless floated by some adventurous song structures and some truly hypnotic and inventive playing from Zedek. On Complications, E still manage to sound musically restless, curious, and connected. (Thrill Jockey)