â€œGod Vs. Scienceâ€ actually, however little it has obvious harmonies, works as a track. The title of the song is a perfect indicator for the style of music that will be issuing forth on your speakers. The back and forth screaming that is such a hallmark during â€œGod Vs. Scienceâ€ continues into â€œThird PPPlay In A Tragedyâ€, but Botch adds a few different things to this introductory track. This is not the noise music of acts like Menâ€™s Recovery Project or Agoraphobic Nosebleed, but Botch actually takes on a lot of sludge rock during the entirety of â€œUnifying Themes Reduxâ€.
â€œThe Opera Songâ€ moves even further from the traditional tenets of noise music and goes into a blend of hard rock and hardcore; Botch is not an act that feels as if they have to approach their music in a certain way time in and out. Tracks like â€œEbbâ€ continue with the very clean sound of things, even as the somewhat distorted guitars paint a little fuzz into the equation. Botch has a similar sound to â€œSpoonmanâ€-era Soundgarden at points (mainly, those instrumental interludes) during â€œEbbâ€. Botch makes an album that works well as a cohesive unit, and I could almost see some of the songs on this disc making it onto radio (albeit, during the late night rotation).
The guitar work that is dominant during â€œIn Spite of Thisâ€ seems to show Botch as a band of classic metal fans, and while the screaming is much more Shai Hulud than Venom, one knows that there is some thrash in Botchâ€™s collective closet. The vicious drums that are commonplace during â€œEnd of Discussionâ€ really give that track a much-different quality than anything else that has taken place during â€œUnifying Themes Reduxâ€. It is great to hear that Botch can still learn new tricks, even half-way through this album. The band does well in staying away from any one style of music, and maybe it is the case that the â€œUnifying Themeâ€ that Botch talks about is the bandâ€™s Protean ability to squirm away from anyone that might try to pin them down with a specific genre label. The fact that Botch can even throw some classic jazz into the mix (during â€œLiquored Up and Laidâ€) gives credence to that theory. Give this Botch album a go if you want something that pushes the limits of what music is, rather than just pushes the same style for a half hour.
Top Tracks: Liquored Up and Laid, Ebb
Botch â€“ Unifying Themes Redux / 2006 Hydra Head / 16 Tracks / http://www.hydrahead.com / Reviewed 01 October 2006