It seems the good ol’ United Kingdom remains the home for quirky instrumental acts and the like. Of course, America’s own Fang Island has their own brand of proggy post-rock with sparse vocals, but England’s Working For a Nuclear Free City proves a mighty force across the pond with Jojo Burger Tempest.
The double-disc album opens with “Do A Stunt,” an in-your-nerdy-face approach to laying all of the group’s musical cards on the table. Within the first 30 seconds, a monophonic synth reminiscent of your favorite 8-bit victories trickles in octaves down to the first hit of the Latin shakers. The next couple of measures pay homage to ’70s nerd hits such as Yes’ “Roundabout” and anything found on your dad’s King Crimson albums.
Tracks like “Autoblue,” “B.A.R.R.Y.” and “Brown Owl” bear close resemblance to popular post-rock glitch-fiends 65daysofstatic. The mix of geeky, video game-esque sounds over live instrumentation finally hit US shores when Anamanaguchi provided tracks for Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. Maybe WFANFC stand a chance amongst American instrumental acts, like Explosions in the Sky, which cater to fans of crescendos, build-ups, and delay pedals.
The tracks that do include vocals (such as “Silent Times,” “The King And June,” and “Burning Drum”) easily invoke the shoegaze lo-fi “whisper” that ultimately proves unnecessary amongst the electrifying instrumentation.
The second disc is a single-track, half-hour exercise in patience with the band breaking the sound bank of blips, bloops, Animal Collective impersonations, a couple measures of power chords, the 10th level of Metroid, and a cherry on top. Jojo Burger Tempest proves it’s okay to do whatever you want on a record fit for joystick battles.