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Bad Robot Man by XM-3a

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Reviewed on 19th December 2010.


Bad Robot Man

By XM-3a

This nine-minute-nineteen-second epic is the sort of surreal, multi-layered, multi-instrumental metal that'll have you checking your phone, convinced you've heard it ring.

The core of 'Bad Robot Man' is a satisfying, metal-esque chug and slo-mo technical riffing that crawls along at a snail's place but, thanks to a few neat tricks, 'Bad Robot Man' never drags. A range of spacey synths spice up those limping verses, while the choruses add a much-needed dose of silliness. The cartoonish vocals of the choruses pitch you headfirst into the surrealism that's previously only been simmering away beneath the surface, and it's exactly what 'Bad Robot Man' needs to prevent it from sounding like some po-faced art-metal experiment. The first eight or so minutes are skewed, grinding sonic strangeness loosely based on the metal and prog genres, with just the right dose of cheesy, light entertainment served on the side. Although, for the closing minute, 'Bad Robot Man' veers into instrumental territory, and becomes much less fun.

After almost ten minutes of ponderous metal oddness, going straight back to the beginning and doing it all again doesn't fill you with horror - quite an achievement, considering how long some three minute songs can feel. Much more enjoyable and accessible than any nine-minute-plus experimental track about robots should be.



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