Car Bomb – Mordial Review

Pew-pew-pew-pew-pew!! Zz-zz-zz-aaaap! Look out losers, the lasers shooting out of “Dissect Yourself” are here to embarrass Rings of Saturn and make Gigan take themselves less seriously. TL;DR: Car Bomb are fucking back, and it’s exactly better than you hoped for. [Wait, that’s my outro.]

And yeah, he sneaks another “X-O” in there…weird, huh? Balance is an odd way to describe Car Bomb. Triangles, fractals, and geometry are a consistent visual theme through nearly every album. But they have managed to drop w^w^^w^w, Meta, and Centralia into a blender. Continuing their self-releasing trend, Car Bomb once again sound pristine. Are triangles a New York thing?

Title track = bliss. [looks down to check notes, gets punched by the vicious intro to lead single “Scattered Sprites.” CAUTION: keep head on swivel around this record] Michael Daffener’s crooning clean vocals are borderline emo, and exactly the balance needed to…

Release date: September 27, 2019. Label: Car Bomb presents: Car Bomb, the band; brought to you by Car Bomb.
…would readers even know what the hell I’m talking about if I call it a ‘Willy Wonka elevator riff,’ or do I sound like I’m stoned? Surely that makes more sense than the ‘shimmer riff’ in “Vague Skies.” [Wait, am I stoned? Djent is either the dumbest or most brilliant genre name in metal.] You have exactly 44 seconds to let the proceedings “Start” with a calm warm up, as the guitars sliiiide out of tune into “Fade Out.” And no, these song titles cannot be trusted, that opener was just to get you complacent.

I can wait while you Google it, but maybe branch out a little, TMBG is pretty cool. No special guests appear this time around because Car Bomb has perfected code-switching within their own unique sound, but frequent collaborator and French person Joe Duplantier does get a ‘Creative Consultant’ credit. “In mathematics, a fractal is a subset of a Euclidean space for which the Hausdorff dimension strictly exceeds the topological dimension.” – Wikipedia!

“Antipatterns” should just be the name of all Car Bomb’s albums, right?? 4nt1p4tt3rn5 for the remix album they ought to make with Aphex Twin.

[I’ll Hausdorff your dimension.] Did Greg Kubacki perfect the pick-scrape riff? There are even truly peaceful moments, like the outro of “Antipatterns.” All due respect to noted French persons/band Gojira, of course, but Kubacki manages to scrape through the 5th dimension more than once. Both the Dillinger and the Meshuggah are still here, but like, partially digested, spit back up, and baked into a C-4 casserole. These four gentle souls are in lock-step; they are an unstoppable whirlwind of perfectly timed chaos. [checks notes: “drums = heavy” – better spice that one up, you lazy asshole]

I bet you expected “Xoxoy” to be pronounced sho-shoi or something. Do you ever feel like bleeding internally? Listen to every Car Bomb record back to back to fractal triangle to back to………[uh, I think I’m also bleeding externally.] Nope, he just says each letter: “X-O-X-O-X-O-Yyyyyy.” One wonders if they’re just really big They Might Be Giants fans, and the Mordial album art is their bizarre love letter to “Particle Man.”

Sure, they left the lid off and made a mess on the walls, but this album really is beautifully blended, with each bite having all the right flavors. Picture those old clips of switchboard operators just plugging and unplugging [ah, there’s that Satriani-shred the promo guy mentioned, thanks “Naked Fuse”] riff after riff at twice the speed of reality. Car Bomb return with album number four, entitled Mordial.

But seriously Car Bomb, why the HECK don’t any of the pre-sale album bundles come with a ray gun? Or at least a helmet?

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

  1. This is such a fun review, it felt like I was spinning round and round till the end of the review and then spat out, or that could be the sleep deprivation. Groovy little beast too.


    1. Mission Accomplished, thank you! Mordial grooves hard for sure.


  2. This album feels like a sampler of metalcore and adjacent (adjentcent?) bands that were around in the early 2000s. It’s like someone threw Fear Factory, Meshuggah, Lamb of God, Darkane, DEP, TTDTDE, and an Obituary riff into a blender.

    It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I think it’s more of a smorgasbord than an innovation. Fans of Car Bomb will probably not take kindly to the comparison, but parts of this album also made me think of bands like Slipknot. Thankfully without the tween edgelord sensibilities.


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