The Internal Conflict – Unspeakable Vehicle (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

You know when you are searching out music on the internet, you open a few too many windows and you end up with two tracks playing at the same time due to some automated bot triggering a tune. The Internal Conflict sounds a bit like that at times. But rather than making for a series of jarring beats and off-kilter rhythms, here it seems to work. Okay, it is full of jarring beats and off-kilter rhythms but they are arranged to bring the best out in each other. With any other band you would immediately think… “what the hell are they doing?” but being that I have surfed Unspeakable Vehicles sonic waves before, you just embrace the chaos and revel in its complex charms. It’s what they do, deal with it!

Again taken from “A Compass May Give Me Directions, But The Only Thing I Will Follow Is You,” the album which spawned previous singles, I’m Off! and Flying, it dives even deeper into the idea of anti-melodies, of counter-points which gnaw and clash rather than support and sympathise. It throws the notion of conventional structure out of the window, at least if there is one it is buried under heaps of sharp edges and clattering cacophony and is instead a series of musical statements travelling in a common direction rather than anything you could dance to. In fact, it should come with a warning that trying to dance to this song could lead to serious injury. But then it’s not that sort of song.

So, what sort of song is it? Well, experimental is a good word. Lateral thinking music also works. Deliberately swerving musical convention to the point of being wilfully belligerent is also an apt description. It runs on an industrial yet ragged groove, adding layers of shimmering percussive splashes, electronic textures and weaponised shards of music, spoken word lyrics both performed and sampled as it goes. It often feels robotic and otherworldly, almost like a disused car plant which has come back to life and decided to reinvent itself as a musical act.

Some music leads, most follow trends. Unspeakable Conflict does neither. Instead, it wanders off on its own sonic quest with a broken compass and a map drawn by a musical maniac, deliberately chasing forgotten sounds along untravelled paths, ripping up rule books and changing direction on a whim.

What does it all mean? Who knows? Who cares? Meaning is not really the point, the act of doing is all that matters. Isn’t that what creativity is all about?


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