The Epicureans pride themselves in mocking preconceived notions of what music can be. While it's no surprise that an act featuring ex-Kayo Dot members would have an experimental slant, The Epicureans represent something more akin to an experimental perpendicular line that breaks its counterpart into a million pieces upon intersection.
At it's core, what The Epicureans are doing here can best be described as improvisational sound poetry. It never becomes abrasive enough to be considered noise, not sustained enough to be drone, and it lacks the texture of ambient. The trio, working with sax, drums and bass diligently piece together wandering collages of sound. Opener "Sweetly Violent Revisionists" is exclusively percussion based, and only consists of subtle drum rattling. This minimal percussion is joined by ugly saxophone vocalizations on "Scum of the Earth," which manages to sound like a dying cow writhing in agony. Not pleasant to listen to by any means, but intriguing to say the least.
As "Introducing The Epicureans" progresses, we begin to see more and more of the band's penchant for building disturbing pieces from nothing. The fat-siphoned-through-a-tube slurping of "Not Produced by John Cale, but Don't You Wish it Was" is enough to make one's skin crawl. The standout piece "Benefits, Disclosures and Accommodation of Nothing" is truly terrifying. Creaking metal and demonic wails seep through cracked walls as Beelzebub pays us a personal visit. This track is also the shortest on the album, and its brevity actually works in its favor.
It's probably easy to surmise at this point that "Introducing the Epicureans" is not for individuals craving structure. Actually, most will come to find that despite their ear for the avant garde, it isn't for them either. This is one of the most challenging releases I've heard in some time. The Epicureans give the listener no respite-- there is nothing to hold onto here. No ties to the conventional. Either listen intently or don't listen at all. 6/10 -- Robert Oberlander (1 July, 2009)