lespecial carves their own path in contemporary rock music, veering from hip-hop to metal, prog to house, pensive indie-rock to apocalyptic dub… and yet somehow still present a unified musical vision. The New York and Connecticut based power trio’s fearless pursuit of a synthesis of the musical idioms that inspire them has culminated thus far with the release of their second album, cheen, on October 31, 2017. Pole vaulting over traditional genres, cheen is a snapshot of a band flexing their remarkable creative muscles, yet cheen is also a risky album: it asks the listener to suspend a categorical approach and dig into their own eclectic unconsciousness, to adapt a phrase, and appreciate the flow of the record from start to finish, as it moves guided by an unseen plan. If there is an underlying thematic structure, it is one that is anchored—musically and lyrically—by horror flicks, 1980s video games and lespecial’s indictment of the current cultural state of affairs. Not overtly political, angry or morose, cheen seems to observe the zeitgeist and respond to it. lespecial’s willingness to take this risk of presenting an album full of flavors and feels is a reflection of the respect they have for their fans, present and future: they simply don’t underestimate the listener, and that itself is refreshing.