Mandelbrot Set: All Our Actions Are Constantly Repeated
Highpoint Lowlife

Comprised of guitarist Keung, drummer Simon, and multi-instrumentalist Melisa, the surname-phobic Mandelbrot Set proves itself a credible companion to fellow ‘instrumental rock' outfits The Timeout Drawer, Red Sparowes, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor on its All Our Actions Are Constantly Repeated full-length. Throughout the set, the trio confidently alternates between stabbing wail (the opener “And The Rockets Red Glare / Bombs Bust In Air”) and chiming delicacy (“Those Lights Are Burning Brightly,” a textured interlude of spindly guitar picking). At 13 minutes, one expects “Constellation Of Rings” will work incrementally to an awesome crescendo but the group defies expectation by opting for a peaceful acoustic coda instead of the anticipated explosion. The loudest moments emerge elsewhere: Melisa's violin sawing blends with raw guitar shredding on the sprawling “Seismic Waves Travelling Through” while titanic riffage in “Benoit B. Mandelbrot” sounds capable of peeling your wallpaper whether you want it removed or not. Not everything's cranked up to ‘11,' however, as demonstrated by the multi-hued melodica, violin, and guitar shudders that imbue the meditative closer “His Hands Were Too Small... ” with slightly psychedelic ambiance. The group's sound may not be overly original, but there's no denying its power.

November 2006