Lye by Mistake - Arrangements for Fulminating Vective (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Lye by Mistake

Arrangements for Fulminating Vective (2006)


The initial press release that our friends at Lambgoat sent out for their first signing, Lye by Mistake boasted of exquisite guitar talent, that mixture of technical prowess and instrumental proficiency that would wow any fan of guitar work. Of course, I'm of the opinion that Johnny Ramone is far more interesting than Van Halen, and I'd rather listen to Greg Hetson than Joe Satriani, so guitar technique is completely wasted on me. Thankfully, Lye by Mistake manage to emerge from the chaotic tech-metal/hardcore crowd by focusing on keeping things interesting rather than technical.

For the first three songs, the band doesn't really accomplish this, unfortunately, with three tracks that harken back to Dillinger Escape Plan's Calculating Infinity. It's solid, but with the vocals providing a spot-on copy of ex-DEP vocalist Dimitri Minakakis, it remains impressive, but not particularly memorable. Thankfully, the band redeems itself in the second half of the record with increasingly weird and interesting bits of songwriting.

"900 Seconds in Search of Jerry" playfully mixes Infinity-esque spazziness with some hyped up moments of finger-snappingly catchy free jazz, moments that seem schooled -- but not copied -- from the music of John Zorn's Naked City. It's terrific fun, and shows how much this genre can accomplish when it ignores its own conventions. Similarly, "Ostrich Feather and Apple Pie" replaces the obvious spot for a breakdown with a smattering of bluegrass; like Mr. Bungle, the band manages these transitions seamlessly, and at breakneck speed, so that you're not so much annoyed by the sudden stop as you are happily wondering where you've arrived.

"John Nash and the Flipper" toys with affected vocals, and has an opening that is almost overwhelming in its barrage of sound. The bridge, which sounds like a slightly more interesting Alice in Chains, flows into a loungy moment of panic, and then hurtles back into controlled chaos.

Perhaps the best thing about the album is the playful quality of the songwriting; while dazzing guitar technique is lost on these uncouth ears, the band's ready effort to keep things light make it far more accessible than most music in this genre and far more fun overall. All that's needed is a more thorough flying of their freak flag throughout their songwriting, and Lambgoat will have a real winner on their hands.