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The Mandelbrot Set - All Our Actions Are Constantly Repeated

Released on Highpoint Lowlife Records, 10/16/06

Delay is the new Black. Gone are the days of the three-minute confessional pop song and screeching screamo ballad. Well, as long as Live 105 and MTV2 aren’t on. It seems that a new wave of instrumentalist rock and rollers have been emerging with a songwriting style that challenges traditional rock methodology and approach. The songs are long, pensive, and heavy with dark rhythmic surges. Repetition of phrase is key, as is the aforementioned delay, giving a sense of the never-ending, or the ever beginning.

Bands such as Mono, Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think, and Pelican have laid the groundwork and generated enough success so that a number of young lads and lassies can take up the reins and continue these newly mass-appreciated styles of instrumental, compositional rock music as we know it and The Mandelbrot Set are no exception. They are really “going for it” on their first release All Our Actions Are Constantly Repeated. But the question remains: Did they succeed?

Well. Yes and no. They sure as hell come close. Their lines range from anthemic and powerful at best to droney and straight-up boring at worst. They admit to being “Loud”, to “creat[ing] an inspired palette of sound and texture, a dense cloud of harmonic resonance, yet timed with enough space and clarity for all the individual elements to shine through”, and while this may be true some of the time, as a whole the record falls flat mostly because of those points of “space and clarity”.

In those moments of quiet they lose the best thing they have going for them: The Power! While All Our Actions Are Constantly Repeated is quite lovely at times, and the three multi-instrumentalists, Keung, Simon, and Melisa, have an impressive list of additions and implements used, this album turned from exciting to background very quickly. My recommendation: more rock less space!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars