Record Review

Phases and Stages


Pretest (Relapse) Like Vermont's Cancer Conspiracy, Philly's Dysrhythmia is an East Coast rock trio who, fighting for consideration in a shrinking-attention-span world, makes wordless music. Medical terms are the foundation for both band names, but comparisons stop there. The Cancer Conspiracy's broad watercolor brushstrokes contrast to Dysrhythmia's angular, sometimes steely, flow. On their fifth overall and third full-length, the trio -- six-string bassist Clayton Ingerson, drummer Jeff Eber, and Kevin Hufnagel, alternately-tuned guitar -- sharpen their tight tone. Dysrhythmia often gets tagged as metal-prog, but their original compositions are more meat than math, more emotion than equation. You might hear vague shadows of Iron Maiden, Don Caballero, and Discipline-era King Crimson, but Dysrhythmia's sound is very much their own. And thanks to music mandarin Steve Albini, who recorded Pretest on luscious 16-track analogue tape, Dysrhythmia is finally able to capture their onstage energy and three-piece interplay. The hour of music here displays chops galore and a sense of timekeeping that would stretch a Salvador Dali clock. Unlike the herky-jerky moments on their 2001 self-released No Interference, these nine tunes have a greater fluidity, even grace, as in the two-and-a-half-minute gem "My Relationship." In spite of Dysrhythmia's slot on Alternative Press' list of bands "You Need to Know in 2003," it'll probably be a frigid day in Hades before Dysrhythmia hits radio. Yet another reason to track down Pretest. (Dysrhythmia plays Emo's Saturday, July 5.)


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