Songs guaranteed to start a mosh pit at band camp.
Remember "shock and awe"? On their debut album, Battles bring that brutal, futuristic precision to the art-rock avant-garde. Featuring keyboardist/guitarist Ian Williams of math rockers Don Caballero and drummer John Stanier of post-hardcore virtuosos Helmet, this New York-based group layers sound manipulator Tyondai Braxton's alien vocals over muscular, off-kilter grooves. Think Captain Beefheart, if he'd been a fan of kraut rock and Animal Collective -- or, on the deep, martial drums of single "Atlas," Marilyn Manson. For rock that's both fist-pumping and forward-looking, this album suggests that Battles have few peers.