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The Callous Daoboys - Celebrity Therapist (Album Review)

Thursday, 08 September 2022 Written by Will Marshall

Mathcore is a difficult genre to get a handle on as both a musician and listener—it’s abrasive, unconventional, and its mishmash of sounds and time signatures can often end up in a jumbled, unlistenable mess. Atlantan septet The Callous Daoboys neatly circumvent these problems on their second album ‘Celebrity Therapist’, making a compelling case for the kind of genre dominance not seen since The Dillinger Escape Plan hung up their spurs.

Not a second gets wasted at any point here. The ambient opening of first track Violent Astrology gives way to a mind-bending assault that changes gears constantly, with screeching guitars underscoring vocalist Carson Pace’s volleys aimed at conspiracy theorists of various stripes.

There is also greater emphasis on melody amid the crushing heaviness, with Pace sprinkling moments throughout the album that feel all the more cathartic and exciting for their unexpected arrival.

Take the wonderfully titled Beautiful Dude Missile and its atypical melodic break, which is intense, menacing and memorable. The ensuing Title Track also embraces huge pop hooks in a way that should sound incongruous and cluttered yet never does. 

The inclusion of Amber Christman’s violin throughout is also pivotal as it screeches and squeals while offering a melodic counterpoint to the chaos. Pace’s lyrics, too, are as insightful as they are incisive, taking aim at cults and cult-like behaviour from flat earthers to Scientology.

The closer Star Baby deserves special mention beyond its outrageous melody—its closing jazz-pop break is truly out there and an obvious highpoint on an album already exemplifying the very best of the genre. Every moment of ‘Celebrity Therapist’ is packed with brilliant, innovative, left-field thinking that’s sure to cement The Callous Daoboys as one of, if not the, finest in their field.

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