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Town Portal: Chronopoly

Album Review

Danish math-rockers prove more than the sum of their parts

There was a time when there were so many math-rock bands emerging from the suburbs of Western Europe and North America that the initial appeal of peculiar time signatures, melodic intricacy and limb-threatening polyrhythms delivered by skinny chaps in thick-rimmed spectacles swiftly began to fade.

But every now and then this subgenre still throws up a gleaming gem, and Copenhagen’s Town Portal are one such delight. Well-schooled in the rhythmically precise but texturally torrid sonic world of Polvo, Don Caballero and Shellac, these young number-crunchers are wringing fresh thrills from a well-worn blueprint, as a tough undercurrent of metallic grit drives these eight meandering but dynamic instrumentals. 

The finest moments here – the insistent riff collage of Chronoceros, the twinkling but dissonant Uncle Genie, the simply beautiful Coordinated Universal Time Stretch – hark back to the sublime mixture of light and shade pioneered by this band’s primary influences, but there’s also a strong sense that something new and wonderfully playful is going on within that familiar storm of complexity.

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