Album Review: BANGLADEAFY Narcopaloma
Sometimes there's a band and… sometimes there's a band. A band that just fits into a certain time and place. Bangladeafy is that band and Brooklyn is that place. I've heard Jon Ehlers of Bangladeafy casually described as "the best bassist in decades" by more than a few big name musicians. I've also seen this band live multiple times and been astounded by what drummer Atif Haq can do. Homeboy has some insane chops, and considering that the band easily navigates dozens of time changes and unique rhythms, you can't help but to be impressed by what they have created on this latest EP, the oddly beautiful masterpiece that is Narcopaloma. It shows us a different and bizarre side of heavy music. This is one of the most unique bands to come out of the scene in decades. They've taken the whole self masturbatory prog metal aesthetic and turned it into something great. Their music is highly cerebral, but also the sort of thing that you can instantly understand the appeal of because holy shit you guys… these dudes are just so freaking talented.
The first time I saw Bangladeafy was opening for Dreadnought before the show a buddy said, "watch out, these guys are super talented". Now I didn't totally expect a prog two piece to blow me away. When I was done scraping my jaw off the floor I realized I had seen a force of nature. Narcopaloma is awesome because it captures that live energy but also refines it with some of the more delicate touches that Ehlers has been adding to his compositions recently. The touches of piano and chaotic keyboard work will keep you on your toes for the entirety of the record. I think what has made me come back to Bangladeafy time and time again over the years is the band's ability to consistently surprise with their music. You'd think that their brand of monochromatic and arrhythmic instrumental madness would get dull after a while, but instead you find yourself coming back time and time again to more fully understand what the album is truly about. I feel like Bangladeafy could still be so much more and I'm very curious to hear their development over the next few years. They can be rock gods of the sort not seen since Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
This is the rare time when a band is actually better served by an EP rather than a full length. The music Bangladeafy have put forward here is incredibly dense, some would say too dense even. You don't want to spend too much time at once with Narcopaloma because it very well may destroy your brain. There is so much to understand here that to try and explain it with mere words seems like an insult to the music. There are hooks, slams and everything in between. If you can wrap your head around the madness of this band then you are a better man than I, because here I am, five or six listens in and I'm still only just barely starting to scratch the surface of what may very well be the most important prog record of 2016.