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The Rodeo Idiot Engine has been crushing sound systems for three albums now. And their latest exercise in annihilation Malaise continues this tradition.


Quick Review: RODEO IDIOT ENGINE Malaise

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Go ahead and have a laugh at the band’s name: The Rodeo Idiot Engine. I won’t pretend to understand it’s purpose or meaning. I don’t get it if it’s a reference but, you know what? It doesn’t matter. The Rodeo Idiot Engine has been crushing sound systems for three albums now. And their latest exercise in annihilation Malaise continues this tradition.

If you’ve heard their two previous smashers, Consequences (2013) and Fools Will Crush the Crown (2011), then you’re already familiar with band’s noisy, technical metallic hardcore/punk, though not without a rich atmosphere that is sometimes surreal, sometimes claustrophobic. They’ve showcased these strengths on previous albums but have really come into them with Malaise.

There’s really no mercy to begin this bastard. “Le Parfum” shoves a quick dash of feed back down your throat and blisters through five unrelenting minutes. And there’s really no mercy from there on out. The Rodeo Idiot Engine have managed to master the art of illusory breathing room. Even when he band isn’t slamming on their instruments or futzing with time signatures, they’re doing something that feels like its giving the speakers overload and suffocating the listener.

It’s when “Passing Daemons” hits that the band feels like they’re moving onto the slow and steady. But between the slow guitar strokes, the band is only building up the song stronger. The control feels really, well, rather unhinged. And that’s the way all of Malaise comes off.

That being said, the album moves so fast at times and it so caught up in its chaos that when “Ildoak’ comes on, it’s a huge change in sound, even relaxing at times. Though the seven minute post metal piece doesn’t really offer much reprieve for safety purposes, it does give you time to take things in and build up to the final chunk of the album.

Malaise is a fantastic album when all’s said and done. Put it on with your full attention and the piece never lets go, just loosens its grip from time to time. Put it on a background noise and it’s still a banger, but you’ll find yourself missing a lot of what The Rodeo Idiot Engine have to offer. Sometimes it reminds me of if Birds in Row ever really unhinged. More so they inspire comparisons to Defeater or Botch. Ultimately, Malaise is not an album you should pass on. Yeah, it came out in 2015 but this is a savage, chaotic piece of metallic hardcore.


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