Doctrines - ZE EP
Record Label: Alcopop! Records
Release Date: July 2, 2012
Turn up, drive fast and contemplate the future of human race. Huh? On first listen, it seems that Doctrines’ latest effort is one long nervous breakdown. Sprawling, frenetic and seemingly chopped up into four tracks at random, it’s a good job the EP is as enjoyable as it is ridiculous.
It's probably a good idea to get an idea of the level of bizarre we're talking about here. In a line - the EP is essentially twenty minutes of abrasive noise-pop centred around futurist Raymond Kurzwiel's writing on transhumanism - the idea that we can develop technology to eliminate ageing and speed up the evolution process. No, me neither.
What is clear is that in ZE is a band finally coming into its own. Barbed vocals clash with intricate guitars to emphatic effect, meaning sci-fi fuelled outpourings like “Climbing Yggdrasil (Everybody Loves Ray Kay)” burst with energy and switch from huge, driving riffs to gloriously exuberant indie pop at the drop of a hat.
The desire to be a little too varied is a problem in places, and a couple of songs are a tad overfilled with ideas. The minute-long tirade at the close of the otherwise excellent "Heads Like Empty Cans" in particular seems forced and out of place.
However, in small (as luck would have it, EP-sized) doses, confusion isn't necessarily a bad thing. The summery guitars and rolling drums of "Part III (Jacob Meets The Luvvites)" display a lust for life the likes of which we’ve only seen from Japandroids' Celebration Rock so far this year and while it always treads the fine line between genius and utter, utter madness, you have to love ZE for what it is; a glorious, sunshine-filled romp, albeit a batshit mental one.