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Friday, July 3, 2009

Review: This Will Destroy You/Lymbyc System - Field Studies (Split EP)

This Will Destroy You/Lymbyc System - Field Studies (Split CD/LP)

2009, Magic Bullet Records

Magic Bullet Records offers up a split LP from This Will Destroy You & Lymbyc System entitled Field Studies, produced by John Congleton (Modest Mouse, Explosions In The Sky, Black Mountain). This dynamic five song collection (2 from TWDY, 3 from Lymbyc System) runs the gamut from over the top rock to distinctive melodic studies. Field Studies has its roots in a 2007 tour that brought the two bands together and seeks to cross-pollinate a following between fans of the two bands.

Field Studies opens with This Will Destroy You on Brutalism & The Worship Of The Machine, a virtual wall of sound comprised of ambient textures built from synthesizer and percussion. Clocking in right around eleven minutes, this composition has the feel of movie background music. There's not a great deal of development; no melody to speak of, but there is expansion and contraction in the sound and layering that suggests movement if not plot/melody. Freedom Blade takes a bit more traditional approach with a halting melody built on thematic chord progressions and poly- or even arrhythmic percussion lines that are almost atmospheric.

Lymbyc System takes over for the final three tracks, opening with Processed Spirits. Processed Spirits mixes jazz and light R&B elements in a tapestry of metamorphosing percussion, synthesizer and guitar. There is a melodic progression here that subtly borders on an Arena Rock theme until Lymbyc system throws subtlety aside and breaks into Rock N Roll at about the three minute mark. Notations uses polyrhythmic percussion schemes and peripheral suggestions of melody in strings and brass to punctuate a regression of synth chords that suggests decay and rebirth or a cyclic process. The overall result is quite a pleasant listen but does become repetitive. Lymbyc System closes out with Narita and a melody line that sounds like it's supplied by a 1980's era Casio Keyboard. The percussion here suggests a protracted dance beat juxtaposed against a lyric background and kinetic fills and effects from synth. The end effect is almost like a musical fireworks display from a distance; the sparkles and explosions of sound are muted but pretty nonetheless.

Field Studies is an interesting mix of styles. This Will Destroy You brings a largely ambient sound that relies more on changes in texture and density to bring their musical message, while Lymbyc System dances on the edge of traditional composition with highly stylized yet mellow synth-based recordings. The net effect is a highly enjoyable listen, although I will say that I would be more inspired to go out and buy a recording from Lymbyc System than This Will Destroy You. It's definitely worth spending a little time on your Field Studies.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about This Will Destroy You at You can learn more about Lymbyc System at You can purchase a copy of Field Studies from, or you can download the album from iTunes.

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