In response to all of the bands tweaking 80s pop culture references into song/album titles and band names, I introduce Scylla and Charybdis, a band name garnered from Greek mythology (and no, there won’t be any further explanation given here – get on a computer and Google it, lemmings). The band’s got a lot of positive things packed into A Product: They Avoid Transactions; from complicated, jazzy drumming to active ‘walking’ basslines and various guitar dynamics, this is one lively five-song EP.
“Fond Memories (The Bitch Just Won’t Die)” is actually *GASP* danceable, with its crazy bassline and stutter-stepping drum beats. The first verse is a screamed, angst-y bit, though the song lightens up via some legit multi-part singing on the chorus. “6 A.M. Desert Drive” is a funky instrumental with a few rhythmic twists and turns. “And at This Moment, it Became Apparent to Me” opens on screaming melded with a laid-back guitar lull and an all-over-the-place rhythm section; in time, the guitars and screaming get louder, a calliope-esque bass-driven theme takes over, a ton of quick-lick drum bits back more yelling over a sedated guitar part. This song serves at the album’s epic, sounding like a jazz-focused take on City of Caterpillar. “Please Dim the Lights” sounds like a time-condensed combination of “6 A.M.” and “”And at This Moment…,” though the band redeems with “Redundant Fears and What Has Come to Be,” which meanders back and forth between dainty passages and blasts of balls-out rock.
As far as first releases go, A Product: They Avoid Transactions is a solid EP. Scylla and Charybdis’ ability to smoothly glide through rhythm changes gives these songs an impressive air. The performances are good as well, though the vocal songs seems to work better than the instrumental stuff (even if the ‘vocals’ are just background yelling or screaming). Five songs of worthwhile music and the inspiration to study up on Greek mythology – what could be better than that?