De Facto may be billed as "the new project from members of At the Drive In," but you're better off just forgetting that ATDI's Omar Rodriguez and Cedric Bixler have anything to do with this act. There's nothing confrontational, punk, or aggressive about De Facto, no driving guitars and no wily frontman screaming about one-armed scissors. If you're looking for the newest sharp stick in the emo fire, De Facto ain't it. The band's debut release, Megaton, is all about a most chill new world order. The record mixes heavy, hit-that-bong-again dub with progressive jazz in a Check Your Head and Bitches Brew meet Lee "Scratch" Perry combo.
Megaton's sample-free framework works best when it transcends the word of straight dub and gets a little funky on the experimentations. The sunny trumpet work on songs like "4 Fingertrap" and the hazy vocal echoes and rippling keyboards on "Cordova" soar into a hallucinogenic headspace, pressing you deep between layers of laid-back and loose. "El Professor Contra De Facto" bends some quick percussion work around warped sonic lasers, and "Rodche Defects" blows smoky rings of Latin jazz. While not the most earth-shattering disc to break through the speakers in recent months, Megaton takes enough twists in its course to keep things pretty interesting, crisscrossing musical styles through space and time while nuking any traces of pop collage kitsch.
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