Intro to Fractions works within simple parameters; to examine a ruminative idea over an extended duration, feverishly taunting every gradation from each texture. Suspended on the fringes are lingering melodies forged from the burgeoning tension of three men displaced within their own lives.
In the Spring of 2009, with an air of momentum surrounding a recent acquisition by Touch and Go Records, All the Saints began giving form to ideas translucent, but not transparent to what would later become Intro to Fractions. Recorded at a variety of studios across greater-Atlanta with a certain sense of nomadic pride and assistance from local stalwarts Mike Wright and Cyrus Shahmir, Intro to Fractions bestows upon the listener exactly how much more thoughtful All the Saints have become in their approach since 2008's debut, Fire on Corridor X.
"There wasn't much room for repeating ourselves" explains singer/guitarist Matt Lambert. "You can bury your instruments, your words, in effects forever, but eventually you'll have to say something." While the loosely placed psychedelia the trio established on their predecessor remains, it now takes on a more focused outlook if only to forefront the core theme of Intro to Fractions: balance in an embattled identity.
An anxious, propulsive rumble, the album's opener "Half Red, Half Way" is never moments from imploding—until it actually does so. Everything seems to be on the line as instruments forfeit and Lambert's disembodied honesty rings outs with "You'll lose your mind and face though, at least it's me. We'll break this honesty code, it's guaranteed."
The majority of the record's stoic urgency is often founded upon Jim Crook's concise drum work, an asset that allows opportunity for the hulking feedback explorations found on "Preachy" and "Zompire" as well as conversely, moments of direct guitar rock in the album's most forthright effort, "Buster." Washed with a veneer of melancholy, the pulse and projection of Lambert's vocals provides the emotional pull against Jim Titus' wavering bass line: "You spent our wasted summer on drugs and lots of others. A no one, accept from me."
Weaved into the DNA of Intro to Fractions are ever so often respites of escapism that keep the pace of the album dynamic and strengthen the cumulative impact of the other impatiently unfolding compositions. The unwieldy minute-long eruption of drums and yelps, "Danger Flowers," and the cosmic sulking guitar strums of "4H Trip" never overstay their welcome, but certainly compliment the doomed voyage.
"Sinister, intense, powerful...these Alabamans are a pulse-racing godsend." - Mojo 4/5 Stars
"All the Saints stew in a slow motion magma and brace themselves for the inevitable eruptions." – Pitchfork
"Their sound suggests nights spent as bonged up teens listening not only to Zep, Beatles and Floyd but also Slayer, Pixies and Nirvana" – Time Out