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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews


Unto Dust

After several hours/years of self-deliberation I think I've finally cracked the source of my love/lust/bromantic admiration for Sydney's Intentions.

You see, most (loosely defined) Math Punkers win you over with their steady rhythmic tummy crunches. It's a natural instinct to feel comforted by an aggressive, steady punch. Childhood.

BUT, most bands of this (yes, loosely defined) genre seem to consistently fall into the trap of forcing the vocals to follow suit. Robots are still only good when delivering Space Jams. LeBron James.

We're then forced into a corner. Or they are. Actually, we both are. We're both in the corner. Facing the wall, together. It's painted beige and aside from the few suspect stains that can only manage to coax your imagination in to taking a few slow laps of a regulation size ping pong table, it gets incredibly boring. Fast.

And that right there is where Intentions stand apart. Simon Unwin's vocals genuinely convey emotion, often sounding strained and unhinged as they drag themselves waaaaaaay outside the band's own strictly linear rail-guards, playfully taunting the often precise musical patterns. This distinct contrast between metronomic order and deliberately wayward rebellion is not only the band's point of differentiation, but also their strongest asset.

The trio best capture their contrast-focused approach on the EP's title track. The abrupt strokes of the unified guitar and bass join forces together in an attempt to slice through Unwins' emphasised lines about "dead languages". The song/battle ends in a dead heat, with each memorable quip counter-balanced perfectly by a series of catchy bursts, continually venturing towards the surface to steal a short moment of attention.

Unto Dust is hardly the solitary highlight though, as each of the EP's six tracks rightfully earn their inclusion. Previously "released" demos/classics, Epidemic and Abdicate, serve well as the release's epicentre, perfectly illustrating the band's two distinctive endpoints - their natural, unforced flow and their more confronting, aggressive side.

But it's on their newer material where Intentions find the most substance, perfectly balancing the erratic nature of their break-out fits with a more conformist sensibility. Most interesting though is the fact that both these roles are carried out by the music and the vocals, with neither boxing themselves into a fixed position and thus not allowing even a milligram of predictability to creep in.

Even as a loyal supporter of this band, I'm blown away by how great this — their first official release — actually is. A perfect example of a band discovering their own sound and then finding plenty of enjoyment in discovering where they can take it.

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