sBACH

Words are so over. Well, at least plenty of post-rockers think so, increasingly ditching the language in their spaced-out experimental music. But while bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai at least named their songs, Spencer Seim, the man behind sBACH, has no use for such extravagance; the track list for his eponymous album, released in August, is just a list of numbers. As the guitarist for Hella and drummer for videogame rockers The Advantage, Seim has played with the instrumental concept before, but nowhere has he gone to the extremes he does with sBACH. The results of his whizzing guitars and 8-bit experimentation are sometimes flat-out droning and other times wonderful. sBACH's sound is most fulfilling on the convulsive videogame-y stuff, which some journalists are trying to label "Nintendo rock." "3" is noisy, capturing the doomed feeling of entering Bowser's castle with one life, while the triumphant "6" sounds like a princess rescued, with hints of traditional Japanese music synthed-out below a bopping baseline. It's super-catchy — in a "wanna play the level again" way — but it's definitely not for everyone, especially those who need words with their rock.

 
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