BBMAs 2018

More Strange Bruises

Cleveland's Ether Net is four guys who met at the switching yard of innumerable musical styles, pulled out the nitro, and blew that junction place to smithereens.

Cleveland's Ether Net is four guys who met at the switching yard of innumerable musical styles, pulled out the nitro, and blew that junction place to smithereens. They are rock Dadaists, and More Strange Bruises has the illusion of amorphousness. And yet there is structure and purpose: amidst the nervous-wreck drumming of Brent Gemmill on the pop rocker "Disco Crush"; in the initially trippy "Chicago" that creeps along til it hits the whitewater and the guitars break open like ripe melons slamming on the rocks; in the dogs-in-space sonic trip "Wilderbeest," which threatens to cut your lifeline to the mother ship; and in "The Exit Song," which sounds like the Romantics after they've been munching adrenaline glands ripped from dead hoboes. Bruises is unsettling in an insidious way. Esoteric but indelible. Even Robert Cherry's vocals seem flat and formless—but try getting them out of your head. Who the hell knows where Ether Net is transmitting from, but may its signal keep coming and grow stronger.—AZ