Since its early days, rock and roll has been about doing what you want regardless of what other people think. In this respect, New York’s experimental rock band Battles embodies the spirit of rock and roll wholeheartedly with their 2011 effort “Ice Cream.” Carnival-like guitar strums that mimic a keyboard, messy drum kit percussion, and rhythmic grunting from featured vocalist Matias Aguayo build in tempo and volume until the scratching guitar is left alone to form the only sort of clear harmony in the song, a jumpy, dance-worthy rhythm. The percussion reenters, a bit more crisp this time, along with vocals from Matias Aguayo, which seem to be, for the most part, nonsense.
Switching back and forth between English and Spanish, the majority of the lyrics consists of Aguayo saying “give me melted ice cream” in Spanish. You would be hard pressed to find much deeper meaning in this song, but that, in and of itself, may be the point. The middle and later portions of “Ice Cream” are thrashing and chaotic, reminiscent of the style sometimes exhibited by Jane’s Addiction, only more chaotic. In true avant-garde fashion, the noisy rock abruptly ends, followed by a short bass solo to end the song. This song may not be for everyone, but if you can appreciate boundless creativity and a group of musicians doing what they do best and rocking out, it will find a place in your heart.