Best NYC rock album - 2007
With all the fuss over what constitutes a summer anthemits sound, its look, its sentimentand with all due respect to Rihannas splendid Umbrella, let us admit to ourselves that the official such jam of 2007 was a ludicrous, mortifying battle cry with bleating, incomprehensible, robotically pulverized lyrics and a mordant marching-munchkin beat that led some to imagine the Smurfs recast as fascist Kraftwerk fans laying siege to a Radio Shack. Ladies and gentleman, we give you Atlas, the bewildering lead single off NYC quartet Battles exhilarating Mirrored, a breathlessly complex art-rock leviathan that mingles merry melodies with pulverizing polyrhythms, high-tech wankery with good ol physical brutality. Its both mesmerizing and impenetrable, and though a dazzling group effort, its drummer John Stanier (he of Helmet and Tomahawk) who provides the visceral heartbeatalbeit the heartbeat of a highly evolved mutant robo-beast with severe anxiety issues. Pump your fist in, like, 31/64 time.