by Colin Vallee (@ColinJBeard)
Brooklyn two-piece Bangladeafy have been making music for close to a decade and have few others they can be compared to. Trying to sell them to friends, usually goes, “they’re like if NIN and Hella had a baby.” The songs are dark, tense, humorous, and display an absolutely mind blowing amount of skill by Jon Ehlers and Atif Haq. This band is a far cry away from what one would call “conventional” and they get unfairly lumped into metal too often. No offense to metal fans of Bangladeafy out there, of which there are many, but their sound is too complex and broad to be pigeonholed so easily.
Ribboncutter is a furious departure from their last outing, the fantastic Narcopalma, featuring more deep, foggy synths, creating a series of songs that feel like early aught’s techno beats suffering from a withdrawal. But the synths have also allowed Ehlers to express a softer compositional side as well. There are little moments after some tracks where the drums and growling bass fall away, and all that’s left is a touching moment of clarity in the form of a synth melody line that feels like a bit of sunlight breaking through the wall of hurricane clouds above.
My personal favorite here is “Conch” which lures you in with a calm synth chirp only to have Haq and Ehlers rip that sense of security away with abandon. The album clocks in at just over twenty minutes and is a train heading for oblivion from beginning to end.
If you ever get the opportunity to see these two play live I implore you to go. Even if technical music “isn’t your thing”, and for me it usually isn’t, you’ll enjoy watching these two masters of their craft carve out a place for themselves in the musical lexicon right before your eyes. I can’t really get into many bands that would be considered peers of Bangladeafy, but there is something here that is so irresistible, charming, and righteously awesome that it’s infectious.