Strikeforce Diablo - The Albatross And The Architect (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Strikeforce Diablo

The Albatross And The Architect (2004)

No Idea

Strikeforce Diablo aren't your bearded everymen playing thought-provoking, intelligent, well-constructed post-punk. Nope, not at all. After splits with Twelve Hour Turn and I Hate Myself and an EP titled Schematics, the trio, who include members of True North and Floor, deliver this, their first full-length, The Albatross And The Architect.

Launching colossal guitars and frequenting stop-start mechanisms to propel the band's sonic landscapes of sound, Strikeforce mix things up really well inside of the songs themselves. The album busts out the gates with "Sharp Tongue No Teeth;" pounding drum slams and the wordplay of a distorted vocal admission of "It seems so frequent, I hone in on a frequency," helps deliver an immediate catchiness to a track that effectively accomplishes what's usually a secondary agenda for the style. Though, on an interesting note, the repeated the line of "It's best to let it go" in "Akimbo," which is scattered amongst high-pitched guitar twangs and a subsequent song-closing drum-roll-clashing-axes fest, does create catchiness the traditional way. Seemingly dual riffs and a rhythmic bass line matches an early echoed vocal shout in the short-sketched "The Stretch." "Fear Humungus" contains cool tempo changes and frontal assaults against the band's instruments halfway through, only to back off and let some lighter triads flourish in their atmosphere.

The title is appropriate, too, as any lured listeners are subjected to very literary narratives that are, while not as sardonic, are still pretty similar to the style of a band like the Lawrence Arms. It's a quality severely lacking in modern songwriting, and though a bit more vague, lines like "It's all the closing of hands and the clenching of fists that felled the city right down to the bricks" really help set the metaphorical scenery well. There isn't necessarily any one theme running through the record, but you can certainly recognize a light jog of storytelling and personal detail throughout.

Strikeforce Diablo is a rock outfit by default, but there are plenty creative dashes to justify labeling otherwise, and a solid record to prove such.

Sharp Tongue No Teeth