Where, oh where, to start with Battles? A gang of technical virtuosos from math-rock/hardcore backgrounds who make insanely intricate, ridiculously complex head-nodding post-punk/funk prog that doesn’t actually send their listeners catatonic and drooling with boredom. They instead defy all conventional pop wisdom and gleefully turn listener’s heads inside out and back again thanks to their freakishly fantastic polyrhythmic grooves, surefire pop nous, and perhaps most importantly, their overriding sense of playfulness and fun. If you’re still not convinced, check out “Ice Cream,” from their latest album Gloss Drop (and check out the video while you’re at it, it’s insane), and if that doesn’t move you then, frankly, we give up. Oh, and live, they’re worth it for drummer John Stanier alone. The man’s a machine.
Mon. Oct. 31, 7pm. $15. With Nisennenmondai + Strawberry Mansion DJs + Wigwams. TLA, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
PW's Music Issue 2014