Contagion Heuristic

Crucial Blast Records 2006

Strange and alien landscapes come screeching and strumming and bursting from my speakers when listening to Contagion Heuristic, the latest offering from Pittsburgh's Microwaves.  My favorite track is Codex Vortex which is like the soundtrack to a monolithic computer lurching to life only to crash again and restart the process all over.  Sometimes I feel like that some of Microwaves experiments are just attempts to be strange and different just for individualities sake rather than some heart felt experimentation.  Some of their "experiments" work and some don't.  The one that works the least for me is the bizarre ending of Polaris which stands out as an irritating anti-climax to a great song.  Ruin of the Night though is just a sonic painting with subtle brushstrokes of deep space sounding technology that is truly mind expanding.  However I find it hard to listen to the bouncy thrusts of Eye Removal and once again they close a song with an anticlimax of excreted noise.  Also hard to listen is the alarm siren disharmony of Thumbs Down, Lambpit.  Still Microwaves are able to pen some great songs that border on being catchy such as MK and Song X.  I guess for me this album is full of hit and miss themes and moods.  Overall this is a really interesting and challenging listen but the songs are sometimes too adventurous for their own good.  Microwaves provides an outlet for extremity without being too metallic and this would probably appeal more to the post hardcore and mathcore audience.  Well I guess what is really necessary for this album is an open mind