Review - Australasia

Artist: Pelican

Label: Hydra Head
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Australasia

Where this is all going is anyone's guess, but the idea that a generation of punk-rock kids might be cutting their teeth on music this roilingly intense, this intricately structured and this instrumental is a good idea indeed. Pelican rattled a few skulls with last year's debut EP and firmly aligned themselves with a singular swarm of anti-rock behemoths like the more gut-bucket Scissorfight and the more angular Harkonen. Pelican's sound -- a violent gnashing of forceful fits and steamroller starts -- nestles somewhere in the middle of those two bands, but the six songs on this hour-plus album are purely unique. Unnecessary track markers delineate paths of aggression that are theoretically separate, but in the end, everything on "Australasia" flows like an aggregate typhoon. Heavy as all get out and smarter than they need to be, Pelican tap into the vein of discontent birthed by nerdy guys who still get a thrill from kicking emo-boys' asses.