Battles’ latest record dares to be a completely instrumental affair, and somehow succeeds in finding a sense of melody on the way. For those of us who love experimental alternative and indie rock, the album is an undeniable rip-roaring success, but it may not convert anybody into a new fan.
Battles is a band you either love or hate. And La Di Da Di probably won’t change your mind about this all-American avant-garde band, but I hope it will (if you aren’t into them). Unlike their first and second albums, which at least featured vocalists in some fashion, La Di Da Di is completely vocal-less. And I don’t think it matters.
Battles has pulled off what a lot of people, including myself, probably largely thought was impossible: make an instrumental rock record that sounds interesting. Loaded with effects, keyboards, big riffs, and incredibly intricate layering work, La Di Da Di is an effort you should not miss.
Each member of Battles comes from other prestigious groups, the most recognizable of which is probably Helmet. This is far better than any of their previous records. Long-time fans will tell you that Battles is “struggling” without a vocalist; I believe they’re just hitting their prime as songwriters and musicians.
La Di Da Di is a keeper.