Futuristic NYC avant-rockers Battles have announced the upcoming release of their fourth album, Juice B Crypts. Due in October via Warp, the record finds the band scaling back to the duo of guitarist-keyboardist Ian Williams and drummer John Stanier, following the departure of bassist Dave Konopka in 2018. Much like the group’s second LP, 2011’s Gloss Drop, Juice B Crypts will feature a wealth of guest vocalists; one of those singers, Sal Principato of NYC dance-punk pioneers Liquid Liquid, appears on new single “Titanium 2 Step.”
The track pairs a lean, driving beat from Stanier with Williams’ colorfully funky guitar and keyboard. Over top, Principato layers on a wild array of whoops, yelps, shouts, and screams, broken up by a hypnotic instrumental midsection. Like much of Battles’ work, “Titanium 2 Step” is both danceable and disorienting, its avant-garde grooves a perfect match for Principato, whose own band was mining similar territory as far back as the early Eighties. The song is a fitting preview for an album directly inspired by New York, and the first LP the band both wrote and recorded there.
“We loved making this record in our hometown of New York and cannot be more pleased that Sal from Liquid Liquid is on the track,” says Stanier in a press release. “It could not have been more perfect.”
Among the other guest vocalists on the LP are Yes’ Jon Anderson, Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus, and Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler, as well as genre-blending NYC singer-songwriter Xenia Rubinos.
“It’s about chord progressions, resolutions, returning home,” Williams says in the press release of the record as a whole. “Take that and throw it into a blender of modern electronic tools like glitching devices, or use melodic lines and take them and regurgitate them and pulverize the traditional stuff but at the same time try and retain harmonic relationships while completely smashing them up.”
The album features an eye-catching abstract cover from accomplished NYC artist Andrew Kuo. In the video for “Titanium 2 Step,” helmed by Masanobu Hiraoka, the shapes seen on the cover shift and pulsate in time with the music.
Juice B Crypts is out October 18th and is available for preorder new. The band will tour Europe and North America this summer and fall.
Battles Tour Dates
December 1 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
December 2 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne
December 3 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
December 4 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
December 7 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
December 8 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
December 10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
December 11 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall