“Car Bomb” is the kind of name that suggests you’ve got a secret weapon, and indeed, this slow-burning Long Island act have something big up their sleeves. It’s an idea more than anything: Electric guitars don’t need to be harmonic instruments, or even melodic instruments. In fact, they can be used exclusively for their ability to generate crazy noises — “like banging two rocks together,” as experimental guitarist and Krallice member Mick Barr put it in one interview.
Many bands have come to this absurdist conclusion before, but Car Bomb take it to truly unusual lengths. They play a rhythmically abstruse variety of extreme metal most obviously influenced by Meshuggah and the Dillinger Escape Plan. Those two bands did a lot to popularize zany stringed-instrument noises in metal, but Car Bomb exceeds even their legendary capacity for zonks and skronks. Guitarist Greg Kubacki manages this impressive feat by both co-producing Meta, their third album — along with Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier — and owning what must be a truly intricate pedalboard, which allows for the hallucinatory time-stretching noises you hear at the beginning of “Sets.” In conjunction with Car Bomb’s unpredictable detours into melodic territory, this unorthodox instrumental approach manages to sound hilarious and insanely brutal at the same time.
A guest vocal spot by Suffocation vocalist Frank Mullen strengthens this impression here. Suffocation are past masters of the banging-rocks-together approach to musicianship, and likewise project viciousness with a weirdly funny undercurrent. Mullen’s also got basically the Holy Grail of classic Cookie Monster growls, and he sounds great through the alien-warlord filter Car Bomb ran his voice into. Listen.
Meta will be out on 10/28 via the band. They’ll hit the road in November as support on the Dillinger Escape Plan’s farewell tour along with O’Brother and Cult Leader; the dates are below.
11/09 – Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
11/10 – St Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre
11/11 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
11/12 – Wilmington, NC @ The Throne Theatre
11/13 – Knoxville, TN @ The Concourse
11/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/16 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
11/17 – Burlington, VT @ Club Metronome
11/18 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
11/19 – Hartford, CT @ The Webster