End Of Level Boss - Inside The Difference Engine
Exile on Mainstream Records
Progressive Stoner Rock
8 songs (41:14)
Release year: 2007
End Of Level Boss, Exile on Mainstream Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

It’s rare that bands live up to record label hype, with even the biggest names often failing to even halfway match what it says on the promo sheet, but it does happen occasionally. Exile On Mainstream were right in its praise of End Of Level Boss when I received the promo package back in 2007; the warm yet twisted psychedelic riffing of Inside The Difference Engine is exactly what Kyuss and Voivod would produce were they to collaborate. Looking back, a couple of years later, it still holds true, and news that the band will be releasing a new album later in 2009 necessitates becoming reacquainted with Inside The Difference Engine.

In some ways, the label could have gone further and still wouldn’t have been exaggerating – it’s hard to set the limits on something that has very few, after all. The band mixes practically every genre of music played with guitars that there is, and produces a sound so cohesive and smooth that it’s hard to believe this is only its second album. If you want to be pedantic and tie it down, there’s primarily a technical and experimental mixture of seventies Rock and classic Doom Metal in there, live partners including Orange Goblin, Place Of Skulls and Todd. Part of what makes this album so enjoyable, however, is that it’s so difficult to classify, fitting easily into any one of a number of genres yet belonging overall to none.

What’s even more fascinating is the subtle change over the course of the album, influences appearing and disappearing constantly. Moving from the repetitive Meshuggah-isms of selfishnegativibemerchant to the laid back noodling of Mr Dinosaur Is Lost without once losing hold on the music is something few bands have the talent to do, and if talent’s what you look for above all else in a band, then you’re in for a treat. Each and every member of the band is on fire, playing for their lives’ worth yet working within the overall framework, running as a unit. H Armstrong’s vocals, somewhere between King Buzzo and Josh Homme, are dotted around in just enough quantity to work, neither taking attention from the music nor reducing it to an instrumental record.

It would have been sufficient to merely make a great Rock album, but End Of Level Boss go further. From the bizarre Cockney ranting in the middle of Mr Dinosaur Is Lost, to the King Crimson meets Mr Bungle finale of Connortations, there’s a surprise at practically every corner, never distracting from the base riffs, but always enhancing, making the experience deeper so the more you listen, the more you get from it. Everyone, whoever you are, whether you’re still starry eyed about that awesome Enter Sandman song that they just played on the radio or are nose deep in the latest Lugubrum album, will find much to enjoy in this, a record that will stand the test of time and was a personal highlight of 2007. Words are not enough; here’s to the follow-up.

Killing Songs :
selfishnegativevibemerchant, Mr Dinosaur Is Lost, Comers, Words Have No Meaning, Instinktivitus, Connortations
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by End Of Level Boss that we have reviewed:
End Of Level Boss - Eklectric reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:51 am
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