It is true that Gloss Drop is a bewitching, entrancing album that defies both categorization and easy analysis. Just as Mirrored was a massive leap on from the early EPs that first got them noticed, this is truly another seismic shift, propelling them once more into uncharted territory. It is a sheer sense of fun, unpredictability and inventiveness that sets Battles apart from every other contemporary group. Drummer John Stanier sums this up succinctly: ''I don't think challenging, new music has to be super serious all the time. That's really boring to me and pushing boundaries should not be boring.'' While other acts are content to deal in revivalism or stasis, Battles are still looking for far-off boundaries to study and then demolish, searching for new and exotic styles to mesh together. Stanier concludes: ''When we're writing songs, no one in this group has ever said 'Wait, we've gone too far. This isn't a Battles song.' Because what is a Battles song? We don't know. All I know is that there are no parameters and no boundaries. That is the whole point and has been since day one.''