Record Review 

Dismissing Blame Game -- performing next at Lenny's Sept. 2 -- as a screaming, grinding hardcore outfit overlooks the group's true personality. Sure, its sound is shaped by frenzied drumming, guitars and indecipherable lyrics, but closer inspection reveals that these elements are only skin-deep. Hiding beneath the screamo staples is a complex sense of rhythmic experimentation that counters the primitive venting on the surface. If one were to remove the grating vocals from the mix, Blame Game would become a distant cousin to math-rock lynchpins Don Caballero, a bastard stepson to post-rockers Tortoise, or the mutant heir to King Crimson's prog throne. But the group wears its hardcore heritage like a medal of honor for all to see.

The 27 tracks that unfold throughout Blame Game's first full-length trace its course of evolution from 1999 to 2004. Pitting its entire body of recorded output against itself in a fractured timeline where each song takes shape in a cannibalistic free-for-all and outmoded material is the main course.Six crystalline numbers recorded in '03 stand at the top of the food chain. "Dakenama," "Original Face" and "Newsflash" peddle disenchantment with the standards: society, politics, the media, et. al. But lyrical content takes a backseat to advanced rhythms and weight that moves from an aggressive dirge to swelling contemplation. The rest of the recording dives into the group's earliest and archaic recordings, reaching rock bottom with the four songs from the band's first 7-inch. Progress has been a slow and deliberate feature throughout Blame Game's sound from the beginning, but is most palatable when viewed from the top.

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