Riddle of Steel – Python – Review

Riddle of Steel

Python (Ascetic)
by Tim Den

Holy friggin’ transformation… even though Riddle of Steel had a good showing on The Socomtonar Collection: Volume 1, nothing prepared me for this. Is this really the same band? I mean sure, the production’s better and the rattlesnake bass sound’s still there, but the songwriting has just morphed too much to be recognized. Whereas the old Riddle of Steel rode on shoulders of Shiner, Jawbox, and Shudder To Think, the moody melodicism and instrumental weavings of Python don’t need to hitchhike at all. They roar through beefy, off-time grooves just fine on their own, often leaving a trail of delayed guitar madness in its ruins. And it’s the way these trails blur the line between “pop hooks” and mathematical trickery that makes Python so engaging: Never do they overload the tech geek stuff without serving a scrumptous melody as entree. When you’re grooving along to tracks like “Fire Is a Special Occasion” and “Time for the Truth,” and all of a sudden that catchy ass melody kicks in: Man, it’s like letting loose a dam. The power, energy, and visceral punch knock you right over.

It’s only a matter of time before Riddle of Steel occupy that pedestal left behind by the almighty Shiner… but they’ll do it entirely in their own way.
(PO Box 2224 St. Louis, MO 63109)