If you Morphed the members of CHON and Glassjaw into one crazed amorphous musical beast and forced them into the studio, The Parallel are the moments between utter lucidity and the unholy madness of when the anti-psychotic medication finally wears off.
Don’t get me wrong, this EP is not without its faults. Their mien is as schizophrenic as my opening paragraph suggests, but their approach is so vigorous and full of youthful promise that it would almost be mean spirited to scorn them for it. It is also not by accident that I encountered these spirited Canadian at this years UK Tech-Fest, because there is also a great deal of the slavish dedication to quantized structure that epitomised the early work of No Consequence, a band who have been influential in the Tech scene well beyond the scope of their record sales.
Indeed the vocals of Matt Johnston echo the stentorian barks of Khan Tasan in tone and phrasing to a degree that could only be described as adulatory. This is no bad thing as Khan is one of the deepest thinkers about the role of vocals within heavy music that I have ever encountered and if you are going to ape a style you may as well mimic the best.
One of my main criticisms of this EP and the songwriter that forms it, is the reliance on arpeggiated sweeps to connect separate ideas. With music as randomised as this, it is vital that every section, no matter how small fully justify it’s existence and these quasi-compulsive transitions hadn’t quite earned their right to the prominence or regularity which they are given.
These criticisms aside,the music is muscular and brazen, yet does not shy away from moments of sensitivity. The riffs are heavy and full of interesting ideas, which the band couple to a decent awareness of dynamical impetus. Which is certainly impressive in a band so young. This will stand them in good stead as their songcraft develops and they come to gauge the importance of building towards the summit of a song, rather than constructing one from a series of peaks and troughs.
All in all this is an impressive debut from this sextet,which while far from perfect is engaging enough to enliven anyone’s afternoon.
– John Whitmore