When I was watching Gnarwhal rage away at Stereogum’s SXSW party, I was reminded that before Zach Hill was playing provocateur with Death Grips, he was playing ballistic math-rock instrumentals with Hella. It’s one of the most impressive tricks in music, that ability to maintain complete control of infinitesimal details while sounding completely out-of-your-mind spontaneous. Danish rockers Town Portal established that ability on debut Chronopoly, and they expand upon it on “Bonus Trigger,” the lead single from follow-up The Occident. The bass-heavy blast toggles between eerie, tension-building passages and riff-driven eruptions, juggling chord changes and time signatures like chainsaws all the while. For all the wild flourishes, there remains a sense of order and rapid forward momentum. Let it sweep you away below.
The Occident is out 5/25 via Small Pond Recordings/Subsuburban.