There’s a lot of crazy shit happening on Adebisi Shank’s quite literally titled second album, This Is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank. It’s like a Raymond Scott collection gone EBM/industrial. Or, perhaps, prog-rock covers of Happy Hardcore staples. And I haven’t ruled out the possibility that the band has discovered a way to power their Boss pedals with Sweet Tarts rather than 9-volt Duracells. If that sounds fun, terrifying or just plain baffling, that’s because it’s all of the above.
This Is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank is very loosely the sound of a rock band. The Irish trio play guitars, bass and drums, but their methods are quite a bit outside the expected constraints of what those instruments would ordinarily do. Effects render certain elements nearly unrecognizable on “Masa,” guitar riffs filtered through synthetic patches that leave the listener with the overall effect of having endured three minutes of the most batshit video gameplay ever. But then again, the group assumes a rock ‘n’ roll strut in “Genki Shank,” allowing a little bit of manly swagger into their chaotic world of digital mischief. But “Micromachines” is all the evidence one needs to bear witness to the fact that, in spite of all the bizarre window dressing (which is quite infectious, I must say), this band truly shreds.
There are, however, moments of respite from crazy shit, most notably on the subdued chillout jam, titled “(-_-)”. (Side note: how do you say that? “Emoticon”? “Face”?) But even at their most laid back, which is a side of the band that only shows its face every once in a while, Adebisi Shank remains dazzling and dynamic. This is a band that’s not afraid to show off their seemingly endless chops, and thank goodness for that. Second Album is fucked-up prog wizardry at its finest.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.