It’s rare that a band can stick to their formula, producing decidedly more of the same, and still receive the highest possible praise. But while Infinity Shred pretty much repeat themselves here, Forever, a Fast Life is one of the best albums of the year.
Those familiar with the New York trio should know exactly what to expect from this, their third full-length- the band double down on everything they’ve done before. Anyone who missed their previous releases though, should prepare for almost an hour of instrumental electronic-powered post-rock, sci-fi fury, space pop, and synthesizer bliss that sounds a little like a lot of things but a lot like nothing else at all.
“Brutal Luxury” is the neatest of introductions. Starting with somber strings and soft chimes before incorporating layers of slick, urgent synths and finishing in a flurry of reverberating guitars, it tells you almost everything you need to know about what’s to come. It’s the soundtrack to some unmade movie, it’s maximum ear candy, it’s dance music for people who hate dance music. That might all sound desperately hip but there’s no detached deadpan delivery here, no retro veneer, no gimmicks, no shit.
Instead “Fractured, Focused” is a wonderful whirlwind capable of appealing equally to fans of anthemic rock, progressive metal, the music from Stranger Things, and whatever vaporwave has mutated into, “Cranemaker” is a cinematic, emotional epic, and the soaring center of “What’s Worth Hiding?” is worth the price of admission alone. Every single song here is packed with brilliant moments, lush layers, slices of fried gold.
That doesn’t mean all the thrills are immediate though. Purposefully at odds with the pervading single-serving, bite-size attitude of modern pop culture, Infinity Shred go long here. The average track runtime is five minutes but a handful stretch even longer and they’re all the better for it. The title track unfurls like a sail on a starship, and “Earth” is a deep breath of a song, allowing all the space necessary for Infinity Shred’s ambient soundscapes and crunching guitar waves to mesh perfectly.
Balanced and brilliant and rare indeed.