Millions - Gather Scatter (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Gather Scatter (2009)

Seventh Rule

Scott Flaster can't quit music the way I can't quit mac 'n cheese. The Seventh Rule co-owner has played in Small Brown Bike, Gasoline Fight and countless other bands that flew lower in the radar. With his label finally establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with, it seems fitting then that he has time for his new project, Millions. The group is rounded out with co-vocalist and guitarist Corey Lyons, Mark Konwinski on bass and Patrick O'Shea on drums. Men whose musical pasts aren't disclosed in any full-sheet bios (Flaster's, as well, isn't mentioned either. I just know things, okay?).

And why be dragged down by the past? "Lest the Professor Catches Fire" starts the album out with frantic, hard-edged guitars in a sort of hybrid of the hard-edged hardcore of producer Chris Owens' group Lords and the heavy and low swing of Seventh Rule's heavy metal output. Lyons, it appears, was raised on the same Louisville pedigree as Owens.

The album peels out from there, the stench of burnt rubber in the nostrils as the band rips through more `80s hardcore riffs and near-prog-rock rhythms. The rhythm is the key for Millions -- there's no need to play a chord on a standard four-four beat if you can batter it down into something that generates interest.

This is evidenced by the opening riff of "Life Is Satisfactory" that jogs hard against conventional strumming, creating a sense of disorientation. And maybe that's a good word to use to sum up the album. It's not a record for listening to; it's a mind-control device beamed down from the heavens designed to appeal to the primal urges of man and create unrest amongst the previously placated desk-jockeys.

The space-themed artwork by Nat Damm confirms these suspicions.

Maybe that's a high reaching metaphor, but Gather Scatter really isn't an album so much to listen to as much as it is to experience. The goal of the group seems to be to play their instruments like a deconstructed sushi roll on Top Chef. All the familiar elements are there, but the bigger picture is hard to grasp, even if you know what it's supposed to resemble.

And you know what? That's the best compliment I can give this album.