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Album Review: Cubic by LITE

Japanese math rock act LITE release their fifth studio album Cubic on 16th November. As you’ve probably come to expect, this contains the bands trademark blend of emotive and intricate compositions – progressive, complex and edgy riffs are the order of the day. While the sound is instantly recognisable as LITE it’s also their most accessible and immediate record to date.

Right from the opening bass grove of ‘Else’ you get the feeling that this might be something special. It’s one of those tracks that revel in its complexity. The bouncing bass groove give the track a cohesive feel and direction before a brief explosion of guitars at the end. Couple this with ‘Balloon’ and you can be assured that this is LITE’s best piece of work to date. The final minute of the track descends into the elaborate world of multiple riffs and shifting time signatures, but this time it is less of a challenge to enjoy. While it may retain all the complexity of previous material it feels more structured and you instantly fall in love.

Image result for lite band

The rest of the album follows the same tone, whether it be the Adebisi Shank flavoured ‘Warp’ and ‘Square’ or the more traditional riff heavy math rock of ‘Angled’ this is an album that you can fall in love with and get lost in its maze of riffs. The latter must be singled out for praise as it kind of bridges the former sound of LITE with this new direction – the somewhat chaotic nature lies just below the surface, it’s still there, just ring fenced with the bass and an overarching riff. Just look to the breakdown for one of the finest moments committed to record this year. The aforementioned ‘Wrap’ and ‘Square’ give a different avant-garde take on math rock with the electro elements providing a raucous punch.

‘D’ feels like the jovial track with its spikey riffs and bouncy groove before ‘Prism’ sends you down a glorious rabbit hole of riffs and intricate shifts. It strikes you straight away as one of the finest math rock tracks of 2016. The interludes of ‘Inside the Silence’ and ‘Black Box’ are also of the highest order acting as excellent tracks rather than a distraction. You’ll struggle to find a weak point in Cubic, but if are determined to find one it’ll be in the unnecessary vocals in closer ‘Zero’.

AD Rating 8/10

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