Borzoi

A Prayer for War (12XU)

Texas Platters

Webster's defines borzoi as "any of a breed of large dogs developed in Russia especially for pursuing wolves ... Called also Russian wolfhound," and traces its etymology to "swift." Parts of A Prayer for War quicken, but this local trio's first full-length, produced with remarkable clarity by Ian Rundell (Xetas, Spray Paint, Exhalants), excels at post-punk musical brutality. Tracks like "Warheads," bursting with singer/guitarist Zachary Wood's ringing harmonics, Rhys Woodruff's deceptively subtle tom-slam, and Taylor Browne's nimble bass thud, recall Mission of Burma at its angriest. "The Tonsure Twist" and "Beneath the Boardwalk" skate a punk-funk precipice that proves the Minutemen weren't in vain. Opener "The South Is Risen" screams "art-punk" while emphasizing the second syllable. This is the most intelligent cement-mixer rock you'll hear this year.

***.5

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