Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dirgahayu - Bahawasa​-​nya (2013)

Why and how would I have missed this last year?....honestly it makes me weep. But seriously gals and guys
this Malaysian group is instrumental rock at its finest. Need a good marker for a great band? is the drummer constantly laying down the sweet sass behind the kit?

Yes?

Ok!

Be they but two songs, so much character can be found just from the first torch burner that you are left wanting so MUCH                              M O R E

( DIRGAHAYU )

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chapter Books - Too Strong (2014)


Looks as though Chapter Books has graced us with a...wait for it...new "chapter" hehe. 

As previously discussed here on their debut EP we have a great cross section of punk energy, indie emo base and occasional mathy guitar interplay. On their newest full length we have a few re-recordings and a barn load of new animals. This is the right kind of production for steez like this. Guitar's "Twinkle" (hate that term) and crunch when needed.  Sounds great all gussied up for sure.  Some aspects of these guys I'm really chiseling on are as everyone takes a step back and the guitars are bare, you really get to see some beautiful well thought out licks. Taken as a whole its the total package for this kind of ilk and without a bum arm in the mix.  show the love folks and spread it thoroughly this baby just got borned up....TONIGHT!  :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jonathan Lear - Memory Well (2014)


Oddly enough, I was complaining today about the lack of really solid acoustic based math around. Sure, there's some viable suggestions, but it's not often enough we venture beyond folk-math. So check this grist, we've got a one man show going down that condenses a lot of very solid elements down. Jonathan Lear takes an acoustic back bone (finger-style light with some folk rock) and melds that with a healthy dose of mathy/prog... but not too much. The music straddles a fine line that keeps it from becoming too convoluted or too folky at any time. On top of that each song has its own feel with different instruments as well.

Can't say enough really. A great find by Dan Moriarty of the mighty "A Troop of Echoes". So props must be given all around. Enjoy.

JL - Memory Well

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Iran Iran - V (2013)

Here's some UK based math right here in the form of four piece group "Iran Iran". They are playing
arctangent fest this year as well. Familiarize yourself with these gentlemen because they throw some great curves in the three songs they have up for display.

IRANIRAN

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pizza loves Don Cab: A conversation with bassist Scott Buoncristiano



I know I tell everyone if you have even a passing interest in Don Caballero/Math Rock or tour accounts in general Fred Weaver's diary from Don Cab's last tour is a highly educational read. For the insight alone into finances of what we view as the "pinnacle" of the genre its an eye opening read. But what lies within the pages is an account of what happens when a band seemingly becomes too big for its britches. To summarize a portion Ian Williams and Damon Che both had solo sets they wanted to play at their shows. Unfortunately a communication break caused all of their shows to book local acts as well which was not conducive to the show lengths. 

It was in Boston at the Middle East that Damon put his foot down and told a local act, Pizza to shove off. Pizza if your a normal reader here has been featured in a couple articles in the past by myself like Math Rock Mystery and a follow up on Boston area math in the 90's . This is the final installment where I ask Scott Buoncristiano (bassist of Pizza) a few questions and clear up the intense controversy between Don Cab and Pizza.

POS: "what year did you guys form? member list?"

SB: "We started playing together in roughly the fall of 1999. All of us grew up together on Cape Cod and Nantucket, Massachusetts so we were always playing music together in some combination. Dan and I were in Challenger from '97-'98. Justin and I were in PowerQuest together. Fin, Justin, and I were in Strictly Business (that band sucked balls). There were about 1,000 other joke bands that we formed before and during all that. Back then, there was a pretty decent music scene coming from Cape Cod. We (cape people) had a "weird factor" and a kind of built in buzz in the Boston area.
The members were: Dan McCarthy (drums) Justin Joyce (Guitar) Fin Moore (guitar) Scott Buoncristiano (bass/eye candy)"

POS: "what were some of your major influences when writing the songs on that album?"

SB: "Our influences then, I think, we're just a culmination of EVERYTHING we had ever listened to up to that point. The Melvins, Jesus Lizard, Breadwinner, Slint, Don Cab, Polvo, Bastro, Rodan, Gastr del Sol etc. etc. None of us had any formal musical training aside from Dan, who is a wizard on drums. We all really just wrote parts and tried to make it sound weird. Sometimes because of our lack of knowing what was "right" or "wrong" in music theory, we just had some riffs that SHOULDN'T have worked, but we MADE them work (Dan played a large part in that as far as making things make sense with his drumming)."

POS:"Im assuming you guys were not together for too long?"

SB: "1+ year. We never really broke up, it just all splintered off into other projects."

POS: "Are you or any of the other members currently in any groups?"

SB:"Fin is in a band in NY called "Time Travellers & The Electric Band" and probably doing some solo stuff or some shit on the side.
Dan does some solo stuff in his house for shits and giggles
I don't think Justin is playing right now
I get horrible stage fright and have social anxiety, so it's safe to say I'll probably never play again. We considered having a Challenger reunion show, but then we were all "funk dat!"

POS:"really interested in what happened with the Don Cab show. Im more than assuming people did not throw pizza at them at your behest haha."

SB: "It was a while ago, so bear with me...
We were asked to play with Don Cab downstairs at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA and were pretty excited to do so. Pizza had a good following and it was a good opportunity to play to a larger audience, and it was cool to be playing with a band we listened to all through high school. The deal was that they had that guy who was touring with them open, then we'd play, then Don Caballero would headline. Cool. Sounds like fun. It was all set up with their tour manager and the booking guy at the Mid East about a month before the show. Done deal. The evening of the show, we had our usual warm up at the practice space, loaded up the van, and drove two towns over to play the biggest show we've had yet. We pull up and start loading out, and the booking guy for the club (we were friends with this guy just from seeing him around on the scene) comes out with this super bummed out look on his face and says: "You guys...I'm so fucking sorry. Here's the deal...Damon Che is pitching a fit and saying that Don Caballero won't play if you guys are playing tonight. He wants to have (the opening guy) play, THEN he wants Ian and then himself (Che) to play their individual solo songs, THEN Don Cab will play. He's being crazy, but my hands are tied."
We were like "What a fucking dickface."

Then he said something that made everything ok to us, but ultimately worse for Don Cab:

".....but you guys can all drink for free tonight"

So word got out that we were suddenly off the bill. We knew that people liked us, but not THAT much. I guess we had a bigger fan base than we had thought. They were getting PISSED. About 1/3 of the people paid to see us too, and they thought it was bullshit that we were booted off the bill, and HOW and WHY we were booted. Anyways, the show starts and the poor opening guy (he was nice..we talked to him later) started feeling the wrath of drunk and offended Boston math rock fans. The Dickface Fatfuck Che takes the stage for his solo songs and all hell broke loose. We were all just standing off to the side saying "holy fuck" while we saw random people spit lungies on Che's guitar, body, and neck (that neck one was in slow motion. I saw it fly 5' and stick right on his Adam's apple). People booed, screamed fuck you, called him fat etc etc. We definitely chimed in on the fuck you chant. Needless to say, he cut his solo set short. Don Caballero came on as a group a little while later. People were still going nuts and screaming "fuck you!" chanting "PIZZA! PIZZA!" and stuff. There were Don Cab fans that were getting all pissed at the Pizza fans, and there we were just laughing and getting very very drunk (for free!) They start playing and shortly after, a fucking slice of pizza flies through the air and hits Damon Che's bass drum. It was nuts, but we loved it. That egomaniac did it to himself. They cut the set short and hid in the dressing room for hours. We had a memorable time, though not the way we wanted. We fizzled out shortly after too.

Years later, Our friend Dave Kenopka's band "Battles" stayed with us while touring. Ian is in that band, and we talked to him about that night years ago. He confirmed that Damon Che is, in fact, both a douche and an egomaniac."

and there you have it! the official story :)

also it should be noted Dan and Scott actually work together and do some fantastic graphic design's,
be sure to check it out. 



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cheek's - Does Nobody Care About a Jetpack? (2014)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kuan - Colors

As Ive said in the past I get much more excited to post groups that arent getting fawned over by the general public and that often times means mining my brain and library for something from the past. Kuan were a 4 piece active a few years back from the Dayton Ohio area that practiced in what you and I know as "Math". Completely instrumental in nature with equal amounts of common mathy cousins like nephew prog-rock and niece post-rock. A whole lot of twisted structures and some heavy riffs and drum work make this a stand out group in my book. Unsure if these guys went on to other projects but Id certainly be interested. Enjoy

Kuan

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Salt Cathedral - Salt Cathedral (2013)


Whoa from the first few moments you're going to have the fish hook lodged deep. Busy post-rock electro pop with some really juicy math tendencies AND sensational female vocals. Its a recipe for digging deep into this rich dish. Its always at the right amount of restraint and never plays into any one area more than another. The guitars are always playing some crazy little background licks while the drums dance around while the  forks down the movement with the angelic singing. I'm just being blown apart by this Brooklyn group while their music is re-assembling me. TOP PICK AHOY!

SALT CATHEDRAL (2013)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Shipley Hollow - Costa Concordia EP (2013)


First off an apology as I dont get the chance to update the blog as much as I would like. My personal and professional life doesn't permit me to put as much focus on the blog as I would like. Also have to say lately a lot of what im hearing is pretty stagnant math. Exception's include a lot of recent local upstate NY stuff that ive been seeing as well as our insanely creative northern brothers in Canada (Montreal and Toronto particularly)

With that said, Shipley Hollow from Toronto have recently grabbed my attention and while previous items haven't really hit me across the nose I'd say they firmly planted one with their EP from October last year. A live recording can be a burden to some but it helps elevate these tunes to an intensely emotional level. Its the kind of math for drives at dusk, just busy enough to hold you close. Vocals (loving that spoken word piece) and the additional keys are a nice atmospheric touch that help set these guys apart from the herd.  More than anything (I always say) There needs to be that emotional connection like the group is invested in their music. There is much more going on here than memorizing transition's and time signature cue's. Would love to see these guys down my way lot's of high energy, great guitar interplay and spritely drums. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2/13 Cayuga Lodge Ithaca NY (LIVE SHOW) Elos Arma, Jr. Bob, Yakbak, Quirky Love Interest

Hey friends just a few words on this very excellent show I attended a few nights ago. Some extremely intriguing things for me for every single band on this bill....not to mention the snow storm..

Yakbak (math-punk) were up first and honestly after seeing them a few times now and with a new EP just released that morning, they are in my mind a force of sheer death (thats a positive).  Not to discount the able bass work but drummer Gabe and guitarist Mr. Pillardy (both from PoS favorite Mouth to Mouth to Mouth) have formed an unstoppable unit of rock that is as immediate and in your face as any punk band yet with the complexity of solving 40 rubik's cubes under water. I was blown away to say the least. (also swear to god there was a fall of troy esque post hardcore break down somewhere in there that almost stole my soul)

Quirky Love Interest (math rock) next up was a group that I've been anxious to see for awhile now and they did not disappoint in the least. Lots of variations for the style which is what I enjoy about them and certainly a heavy metal aspect that takes a back seat to a lot of the math elements but is surely informed.  Worth mentioning also it takes a bit for me to really enjoy double bass drumming but Mike tastefully sprinkles it around his kit work and its a solid win. High energy.

Oddly enough the two wild cards for me were a group I was pretty positive I wasnt all about Jr. Bob and one I wasn't familiar with Elos Arma. Boy did I form some new opinions. Both groups from Canada brought their A games. Both share drummers but couldn't be further from each other even being under the blanket of math. Junior are heavy jazz heads with some of the most intricate fret work on a guitar i've ever seen. Extremely tasteful yet dynamic playing just a straight pleasure to witness. Elos cant seem to completely make up their mind of exactly what their bringing to dinner. Math with twinkly indie rock and poppy vocals seems to be the best determination I could muster and its pretty joyous in person.

Really a wonderful night and surprising turn out for everyone in the Cayuga Lodge Catacombs




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sleep For The Nightlife - Minimalist Cities (2014)

This was one of my most anticipated albums of 2014. After seeing them a few years ago I was not fully ready for what this 4 man Toronto based group was about to bring.  I am not alone in this anxious feeling either, but I feel it imperative to bring these guys the attention in the community they richly deserve.

Ambient in the way atmosphere is set and mathy in a restrained and respectful manner. Instrumental pieces that are smartly constructed with no extra relationship baggage. This is real deal total investment Math-tastic Post-Rock.

These cats never leave you hanging and if they are laying down a riff that warrants it, they stick around so you can soak up the joy. If you want to talk math rock brass than technically speaking you've got the twists you desperately crave.  The hooks for me however lie in the relationship of the expertly laid melodies and the brain melting kit work. There are so many moments on this record that literally give me goosebumps its like RL Stine was sitting behind me the entire time....that was bad apologies. The back half of "Underwater Panthers"? forget about it, ridiculous tension and release tactics that are almost too clever.

Are we talking wheel reinvention? nah. but you'll never concern yourselves with such trifles because this is a distillation of Ghosts and Vodka type activity of the highest order and dare I say with some more impressive song variation.  You are a fool if you don't surrender your ears this instant to this the first masterwork of 2014.

Can I say again that these drums are just nasty?
Jesus Christmas

SLEEP FOR THE NIGHTLIFE

Tell them via facebook how much they own the streets



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Planets Live in Houses - self-titled EP



You may remember these guys from sometime back in November last year, when they teased us with a sampler of their upcoming EP slated to drop January 25th 2014. If so, it is most likely then with little wonder as to why I'm posting this today of all days. Indeed, today is the day that their self-titled EP finally drops. This EP includes the two songs we heard off the sampler with three other tracks and a mini track thats six seconds long, appropriately named "Never Meant".

When I first listened to PLIH back in November, immediately what stuck out to me was the drumming, and that's definitely still the case here. The grooves seem to be what really drive the band for me. Its a prominent consistency that is evident throughout the whole EP. However, that's not to say that the guitar is uninspired. On the contrary, the EP is loaded with catchy melodies played by both the guitar and synth that seem to stick with you even after you've stopped listening. That said, PLIH is first and foremost a Post-Rock Progressive band, (with a dash of Atmospheric Ambiance.) There is plenty of "rise and fall" moments throughout the EP, which is evident through the crescendos and the constant change ups in the drums. As for the guitar, it often alternates between clean and distortion, the clean parts being mellow and a fluid and the distortion helping to drive the progressive feel. Everything fits together perfectly and is as it should be.

If I had to pick a song that really sticks out to me on this EP it would be "Bare Claws". Which seems to be the only track accompanied by a sax. The song captures the Atmospheric Ambiance I mentioned earlier perfectly. This is because of a combination of synth, the reverb, and the fluidity of the guitar. Now, if that was good enough, lets top it with a soaring sax layered over everything. Now we're in business.

After a few listens to the EP, I'm really in love with it, and excited to see where Planets Live in Houses take their sound in the future.You can purchase it here:
Planets Live In Houses

Enjoy!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Luo - In the Dark



First of all let me be the first to say "Thank you and welcome back Computer Jones" our frequent poster from across the pond. We have been missing your mathalogical insight's hehe.

Second off my my my I have to say its been a hot minute since a song/video has moved me as much as this one by Luo. This is a full band version of what is essentially experimental producer Josh Trinnaman who has released some incredibly solid glitch, hop, math, jazz blender love.  This live version gives it a certain post rock feel and ups the emotion to a power level of over 9000! truly you must check this out even just for those skillfully wielded drums.


Luo Bandcamp

Facebook

Friday, January 17, 2014

Self-Evident - We Built a Fortress on Short Notice (2012)



GREAT follow-up album to their 2009 release 'Endings'. how it wasnt posted before i don't know!? 

LISTEN

The Samuel Jackson Five (2013)

SJ5 released 2 small EP's last year. The very festive "Mid-Fi Winter Wonderland EP" was released December 2012/January 2013 and "Seasides & Elsewhere" was released at the start of December 2013. Enjoy!




Mid-Fi Winter Wonderland EP
LISTEN






Seasides & Elsewhere
LISTEN

Sleeping People - NOTRUF 12" EP (2013)




The legends that are....Sleeping People! this is their 12" EP released the later half of last year. hope y'all enjoy it...completely forgot to post this when it orginially came out.

LISTEN
DOWNLOAD

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vintage Math Rock: Boston 1990's - early 2000's




First of all this article is a sort of a lead in to an article that will be up soon but also a continuation of this "Math Rock Mystery" in it we sort of unearthed a forgotten group from the Boston area called "Pizza". In the following I will be covering a great web of artists that are all interconnected with this group..follow me.
_______________________________________________________________

PIZZA
active 1999 - 2001
Members included:
Dan McCarthy (drums)
Justin Joyce (Guitar)
Fin Moore (guitar)
Scott Buoncristiano (bass)

So for the sake of the article we are going to start with these guys (ps click the band name for a link to a video or in this case the album download...hosted by the way by the groups drummer) Any who I've been in contact with Fin from the group who had this to say about the groups formative beginings.

"The early songs were written acoustically by Moore( Diamond Nights, Robots) and Joyce while standing on the coffee table at 40 Gordon st. Allston ma.(the painted lady) from late summer to the end of fall of 1999 at which point it was decided to introduce an electric sound. McCarthy(Helms, Dagobah, Challenger) filled the position on drums while Scott B (Challenger, Intendo) bused up once a week from cap cod to operate the bass."

"Scott and Justin came up with the name pizza i think because it was sharp, catchy and had humor attached to it. The band was very short lived, it seemed like the second it took off and people gained interest it lost fuel and deteriorated."

Fin Moore

Hmm so in other words it looks as though there are a few other groups mentioned here lets dig a little deeper...
___________________________________________________________________ 

active: mid 1990's
Members Included:
Paul Joyce (bass, vocals)
John McWilliams (guitar, vocals)
Dan McCarthy (drums)

Killer group that has a sort of updated Rodan/Slint feel with the speed and calculations of math rock. With a little digging you can find several albums from this three piece. It's worth noting also a familiar last name up there...yep Joyce. Paul is Justin Joyce's (Pizza) brother.

something remarkable about this is its just Dan and Paul playing...
___________________________________________________________________

active 1997
Members Included:
Tina McCarthy BASS(maiden name Helms..) husband of....
Sean McCarthy (guitar/vocals)
Dan McCarthy (drums).

So basically as Dagobah was ending for Dan, Tina and Sean's band had lost there drummer thus the three formed Helms. A much more mellow group than the previous...think hypnotic post-rock, great drums and spoken word. 

____________________________________________________________________



  Challenger 
 active 1997-1998
 Members Include:
 Dan McCarthy (drums)
 Scott Buoncristiano (bass)
 Paul Joyce (guitar)


So by now your begining to see the trend I'm getting at all of these bands feature Dan on drums and its easy to see that he is an incredibly versatile drummer with some varying styles being repped. Challenger is my favorite of the bunch for a few reasons. One, this albums feels just as urgent and fresh as anything today except it was written in 1997. Now you go find me some math from that time and compare..theres honest to god not much that can compare. granted this was re-mastered which could have helped in this but these songs are incredible. Here we see Paul stepping away from bass and front and center.

Also worth noting is Paul Joyce was also the bassist in the seminal math rock group Lynx with now Battles axe slinger Dave Konopka. Hows this? well Lynx was very much a Boston group before they packed their bags and moved to the Chicago area. 

Hope you fine folks enjoyed the history lesson and found some new groups to look into from the past. Thanks as well to Fin Moore for reaching out and giving me some perspective on his role with Pizza.

Next up?
My mini- interview with Scott Buoncristiano:
 
"Pizza vs Don Caballero".....?!?!
 
Stay Tuned :)
 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Axes (2013)



Their debut album released 15 April 2013. i missed this when it came out but im glad i chased it up. Also, some great Beatcast.tv sessions:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ghosts of Sailors at Sea - The Skeleton Coast (2013)

We've got a few PoS members from the Boston area so its not uncommon for us to cover music from the area more so than others. Im usually last to the party but lately I've been tirelessly researching 90's math rock based in Boston for a doozy of a post coming up and I ran across a current group I am highly enjoying.  


Ghosts of Sailors at Sea are like a torrent of instrumental math but never too off the wall. What hits me right off the bat is those dual guitars laying down some incredibly tight riffs. Its certainly rocking all the way through and never lets up not even for a moment. Transitions? seemless. Now thats the mark of a truly great math rock group.

Ghosts of Sailors at Sea

Thursday, January 2, 2014

1/5/14 Ithaca NY (The Haunt) Moonstriker, The Changing Light, MTMTM, Yakbak, Alberto Alaska

Hey guys first great show of 2014 alert and its a doozie. Five groups that all run the range from math to punk to psych rock to post hardcore BUT all sharing the common ground of progressive flair. Sadly I can not make it out However that shouldn't stop anyone in the NY, PA or Jersey area's to pop in for this. Its at the always excellent Haunt as well too so plenty of room. click below to get a taste sensation of each group.

MoonStriker (PA) (prog space rock)

The Changing Light (PA) (prog psych post hardcore)

Alberto Alaska (NY) (alt post rock)


MTMTM (NY) (math rock)

Yakbak (NY) (math punkers)