“Not Dot” consumes Helms Alee's entire side of a forthcoming split with Philadelphia bruisers Ladder Devils, who manage to squeeze two tracks onto their half. The funny thing is, “Not Dot” sounds more like two separate songs, as its bewitching beginning and ending bookend a surprising hardcore burst that sits in the middle. Up front, Dana James, Hozoji Matheson-Margullis and Ben Verellen swing sweetly over sidewinding guitars and drums, circling beneath the melody like predators.
Suddenly, the drums rip into a roil, while the guitar etches complicated figures above the tumult. Verellen’s howling now, his easygoing harmony suddenly gone. That is, at least until it returns, which it does when Helms Alee settles back into the same slippery groove that started the side. Though it’d be incorrect to call this a four-song split, it’s at least accurate to say it sounds that way. Brutal Panda releases the record September 3.(via Pitchfork)