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Virginia may be for lovers, but for the eclectic trio Ultra Dolphins, it seems to be the place to drop a lot of drugs down your gullet and get busy with a multi-instrumental attack. Swirling the ghosts of '90s post-hardcore with bits and pieces of today's hardcore mad scientists like Blood Brothers and Daughters, MAR is a 12-track endeavor that reaches creative zeniths by fighting on many fronts, whether it be a Jesus Lizard-esque offensive found on "Workhorse" or "If You Will", a Mike Patton-like assault on "Lunge", or a Horse The Band meets drum 'n bass collaboration found on "The Great Neurathenic". Slight tone downs on the discord to highlight melody allow the band to reach new ears, while piano, keyboards, and other oddly placed instrumental elements invade tracks like "Winged Babbler", artfully beefing up MAR's fluid guitar-bass-drum set-up. On MAR, this group's lo-fi spastic shouts and queasy compositions have been upgraded from freakouts to full-level aural assaults, furthering Ultra Dolphins' musical madness to uncharted levels of indie rock bliss.
- Mike SOS