After a seven year split, Brisbane punk-rockers Speedlab made their triumphant return to music with …
Nyu. have taken a risk, choosing to do an instrumental guitar-based album in 2018. The genre constantly toes the line of ‘samey’, making it incredibly hard for acts to stand out in the conversation.
From Plini to Animals As Leads to David Maxim Micic and everything in between, there’s more than enough axe nerds to last any metalhead a lifetime and provide enough tempo and time changes to make even the proggiest of … proggers happy.
Some may approach this Flux, the debut EP from this outfit with a degree of skepticism, given the amount of material that already exists within this realm. However, a listen through this collection is sure to leave purists pleasantly surprised by the variety of sound and ideas on offer. Singles Sapphire & Coast already showcase the band’s blissful take on guitar instrumental music, without any need to cram gazillion notes into the shortest phrases, and thankfully the rest of the EP follows suit.
Flux certainly doesn’t offer anything totally new to the instrumental world, but it takes things that have already been tried and trims the fat.
Rude and the djent AF titled Tesla both bring elements of aggression and technicality, but also soar through colourful and dynamic structures that at no point make things harder than they need to be. Likewise, Stormy keeps things short and groovy, sounding heavily influenced by Plini’s Handmade Cities LP and combining funky grooves with crackling palm mutes and bass pops, valuing feel over speed. True, Downstream retreats more into metal territory, and is probably the most predictable work on here, but don’t let that detract from the tasteful solo work that spatters across the track, showing thought as well as pure chops.
Flux certainly doesn’t offer anything totally new to the instrumental world, but it takes things that have already been tried and trims the fat, presenting them in a far more digestible and, for lack of a better word, fun way. Things are only just getting started for this group, and with more than just some sweet guitar licks up their sleeve, it’ll be interesting to see how their 2019 pans out.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Stormy, Coast, Sapphire
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Plini, The Helix Nebula, David Maxim Micic