Senryu Shows a New Side on "Dying in Fast Forward"


Dying in Fast Forward

With a giant leap away from the cerebral yet sugary-sweet harmonics and classic pop structure of the band's earlier releases, Senryu returns to the fore with Dying in Fast Forward, a challenging disc that defies expectation at every turn. Senryu auteur Wil Wright crams enough musical ideas for two double albums into Dying's five tracks, and at times the resulting pastiche makes strong demands of the listener. So it's best to chuck your preconceptions about the band and be prepared to put forth a little bit of effort.

There are plenty rewards among the intricate quirks of the songs. Only halfway into the record, on the title track, does standard pop/rock riffage emerge, and as soon as that groove settles in Wright throws in another time change—just to keep you on your toes. Dying doesn't sound like a group effort, but more like a long-winded solo project where the primary instrument is the studio itself. And while Wright's soaring lead vocals and backing harmonies sweeten the mix, there's still a pervasive sense of menace about the EP. Comparable to the meticulously crafted paranoia of the Paper Chase and Xiu Xiu, this unsettling jewel of a record seems to carry a hidden curse. This element of seductive creepiness is the record's strong point, and will induce repeated nightmares for those who are adventurous enough to take the sonic plunge.