Don Caballero, Fra Pandolf

If rock bands were required to inventory their ingredients in descending order of prominence, like on a bag of Sun Chips, most would list vocals first, then guitar, then bass and drums. Math-metal godfathers Don Caballero's list of ingredients would be noticeably inverted. Most of their songs are composed on drums, driven by their frenetic pace and held together by flawless transitions between odd time signatures. Bass and guitar are approached like percussive instruments with tapping and arpeggio techniques complementing the complex rhythms. And there's not a vocalist in sight. The group's original roster broke up in 2000, and now drummer Damon Che's reconstituted line-up seems to be angling for a heavier lean, signing with indie metal label Relapse Records and forgoing slower, more thoughtful instrumentals in favor of pure, unadulterated shredding.
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Geoff Johnston

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