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The Ladderback

The Ladderback: no, it's not just a kind of chair, it's also a band, and one that sets the bar awfully high when it comes to both complexity and intensity. The four-piece from Raleigh, North Carolina hits you with all the fearsome power of a 350-pound linebacker, dropping you to the ground where all you can do is lie there dazed by the force of the impact, your jaw agape at this dazzling display of math-punk prowess.

The band members go by first initials only, opting to let their music do their talking. Guitarists J and B split the vocal duties, tending towards two-part ragged howls, but occasionally wandering into catchy, almost hummable melodies that make you consider getting up from your supine position and dancing a little, before you?re leveled once again by the next wave of chaotic noise. The duo's guitars shoot through the band's songs like burning arrows, dazzling in their flight. Meanwhile the rhythm section of drummer C and bassist D establishes the songs' foundations with dense, stuttery polyrhythms and a deep satisfying low end.

The band started with a seven-inch, "Legend of the Overfiend." In 1999, the young quartet put out its first full-length, Honest, I Swear It's the Turnstyles, which included the featured "A Minor Intrusion." In 2001, they returned with a second full-length, Introductions to Departure, on which they continued to develop their complex, corrosively beautiful, oddly personal music. That album includes "T.T.T."