Don Caballero - _What Burns Never Returns_
(Touch 'n' Go, 1998)
by: Brian Meloon (
When I reviewed Don Caballero's second CD, _Don Caballero 2_ [CoC #11], I'd never heard of the (inappropriately named) genre "math rock". The genre's name is supposed to connote a detached, technical approach to rock'n'roll, usually garbed in the cloaks of alternative stylings. Since writing that review, _DC2_ has become one of my favorite albums, both for its use of "tedious technicality" (technicality that isn't the least bit flashy, relying instead upon similar but frequently changing riffs), and for the incredibly overplayed drumming. This album is similar to their previous one, though it resembles only the lightest and least intense parts. Gone is the intensity of the shorter tracks of _DC2_, and what's left is a more laid-back, alternative-sounding style. They make effective use of polymetric layering in their compositions, with the two guitars and the bass and drums each playing riffs in different time signatures. Some of the riffs are repetitive or standard, but the way they are organized makes them interesting. There are some places where the album really drags, though. The production is raw, giving this a "live" feel. The most disappointing aspect of this release is that the drumming has been simplified. It is still moderately complex, and it fits the mood of the album, but it's not as dense as it was. This isn't the direction I was hoping that they'd go, but it is still a unique and interesting album.
(article published 7/8/1998)
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