Best Assault With a Deadly Rhythm - 2008
Red Orange Yellow
When Devon Shirley left his post as drummer for the Photo Atlas, he could hardly wait to resurrect this project. Watching the baby-faced, monkey-limbed percussionist perform with guitarist Holland Rock-Garden of Machine Gun Blues and keyboardists Nick Martin and Kyle Gray, it's easy to see why. Shirley brings the same lightning-fast precision and grace under pressure that made his playing in the Photo Atlas so mesmerizing, but in Red Orange Yellow, he infuses it with jazzy subtlety, mathematical complexity and plenty of animal aggression. Gray comes unglued, Rock-Garden broods and Martin seems eerily calm, but all eyes are on Shirley as he treats the audience to an intricately woven and diabolically premeditated pummeling. The band's expiration date is imminent, as Martin plans to move to Japan this summer, so get your beating soon.