End Of Level Boss - Eklectric
Exile on Mainstream Records
Progressive Stoner Rock
10 songs (53:47)
Release year: 2011
End Of Level Boss, Exile on Mainstream Records
Reviewed by Goat

Moving onwards and upwards from 2007’s impressive Inside The Difference Engine, Eklectric finds the London-based band with a new rhythm section and a different bag of riffs. Despite the changes, End Of Level Boss still plough a rich furrow in terms of sound, their original and rocking racket here served up with a rawer and dirtier sound than before. New guys Peter Theobalds (ex-Akercocke) and Neil Grant slot into the band perfectly, but as ever it’s the twisted clean vocals (think recent Dillinger Escape Plan as the nearest comparison) and even more twisted guitar of frontman Harry Armstrong that deserve praise. Alongside second guitarist Roland Scriver, he cranks out the sort of post-Tool meandering that simply breathes its progressive intent into your face, whilst not forgetting to keep that head nodding along. The best way to describe the band is the laid-back stoner vibes of Kyuss with the progressive oddness and punk rowdiness of Voivod – with a touch of King Crimson for added spice. Taking this original formula to heart, End Of Level Boss blast out ten varied yet consistently excellent blasts of rock, freely experimenting yet never losing the listener.

Describing each of these great songs in turn is simply impossible, discovering the various twists and turns taken being part of the fun in listening. From more typically grunge-tinged rock stompers to complex workouts, this band does it all. Both jazz and prog are clear and frequent influences, End Of Level Boss never making their brand of rock less than interesting. Take This Is Not The Way It Was as an example, starting with technical conveyor-belt-esque riffs before turning melodic, Armstrong’s vocals light and almost operatic before turning into punkish yelps, devolving to minimalism before returning in a post-punk Sonic Youth-alike swelling of sound, the drums growing more technical and aggressive. All this in one song! And you’re guaranteed a varied listen, the album never ceasing to surprise and delight. From the wistful instrumentation in Mouth Of Hats that’s undermined by the spat-out vocals to the stoned-out psychedelia of If Not All, End Of Level Boss take a suitably absurd joy in their music that makes for as good a listen. Recommended.

Killing Songs :
This Is Not The Way It Was, Mouth Of Hats, Senescence, Blueshift, If Not All
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by End Of Level Boss that we have reviewed:
End Of Level Boss - Inside The Difference Engine reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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