Expander – Endless Computer

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Distributor/label URL: http://www.nwnprod.com/
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: http://www.nwnprod.com/?p=7594
Band Website: https://expander.bandcamp.com/

Band line-up:

Swirly-Bass
General Ham-Vocals
Guzzler-Guitars
Keymaster-Drums

Tracklisting:

01 Biochron Space Suit
02 R-Type 2 Civilization
03 War Terminal – The True Front Line
04 Endless Computer
05 Authority Spire
06 Opulent Tesseract Ascension
07 Mechanized Deathcanal
08 Timezapped
09 Cold Orbit
10 Cold Orbit II_ Facing Worlds

Review:

“Neuropunk” they say? Expander has definitely created some quite excitable music with their crossover stylings. Having released two EPs since beginning in 2014, the four-piece outfit from Austin, Texas have brought out their debut full release in ‘Endless Computer’. As a concept album goes, this one has great imagination which and some pretty funky artwork to boot. The narrative is sort of blown out the window with the ridiculously hard and heavy nature of the music but it’s a symptom of the band’s creativity in that we are kept wired into this powerful assortment of prototypical music.

Things heat up immediately with the brazen ‘Biochron Space Suit’ which launches the album off into the ether with a driving pace and fluid momentum that serves as a strong opening. The riffs are constant and once the breaks connect then we are catapulted into even more higher realms of quality. This continues throughout the album as ‘R-Type 2 Civilization’ brings more elements of speed and chops with an added touch of beatdown to help solidify the band’s energetic and unrelenting power.

Vocalist General Ham maintains a harsh style throughout and is rather reminiscent of Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind. The tempo is kept at hyper-mega drive by the three instrumentalists in drummer Keymaster, bassist Swirly and the unstoppable riff master Guzzler who must be guzzling gallons of the good stuff to keep up the at times ridiculous style. The fifth track ‘Authority Spire’ is an absolute gem of a track with all the necessary greatness in elements required apparent in abundance; especially with the transformation of breakdown into rhythm with a brilliant riff to boot.

The momentum is continued throughout the rest of the album with some great levels of consistency but also variety in terms of the shifts from pure potent thrash into space-age psychedelia which forces its way into nearly every track. There is a certainly an affinity to some of their predecessors such as Voivod but Expander have managed to carve out their very own stylistic imprint which is highly enjoyable. Another track to be highlighted is the insatiable ‘Timezapped’ which packs so many riffs into under four minutes of music. It is all rather stupendous.

The album ends with the two parter in ‘Cold Orbit’ which remains true to the rest of the album. Definitely, a band to keep an eye and an ear out for as they have provided a very well-honed example of seismic force delivered at a blistering pace. Well worth your time and one that is not to be missed for anyone who has any love for thrash, hardcore, crossover and generally just good music. Hats off to you Expander!

Review by Pete Mutant
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