These Toronto cats have been at it for a bit now and each release finds them razor sharpening their blades. Hooks become lodged and guitars sling devilish riffs that dance around each other. Keyboard helps set them apart from the pack as well. Loving those horns in track 5's chorus, talk about exactly what is needed at the right time. Highly suggest anyone jumping in head first to this emo mathstravaganza
Friday, May 29, 2015
Hmmm well it gets posted on our facebook page and i see it sitting in the ever awesome math rock reddit community. So where do we start? Its a methodical take on math for sure...dare i say...F O L K ...ish? Sure why the hell not. At least guitar wise. As for the drums and bass well they are amping it up off a cliff. Tasteful bass runs and some fun drum licks yet restrained when things get moody slow for your girl....or guy. Keyboard as well ive found when done correctly fleshes out even the most chaotic of math. I really enjoy this i guess is what im getting at. Solid mix inside and out of the head phones. Philly based, should make their way upstate way for sure.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Great debut album.
"Axes are a four piece based in London via Essex, Scotland, Iran and Denmark who create exciting and surprising instrumental music that combines playful melodic hooks, brutal dissonance and danceable grooves, reminiscent of label-mates Talons and Adebisi Shank."
(I feel its missing something but i just cant put my finger on it....anyone?!)
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I've got a few things to say about this year because it was a rough one in a lot of ways. It was a year of extremes to be sure. On one end, I feel as though there was/is an over abundance of young groups this year on the poppier end. Just barely enough chops to throw a quick syncopated change in and call themselves "math". There's nothing wrong with being an indie rock group but embrace that if thats what you are....Other side of the coin was a complete retreat into over indulgence. You want blistering riffs that never end? check. but wheres the meat? the soul?
I digress. on to my list.
1) Sleep for the Nightlife - Minimalist Cities
( Bandcamp, Facebook)
This was an easy choice for me this year. Released all the way back in January, this album had legs for miles. It has all the trappings of a true blue math rock band that has formally come into their own as well as totally embracing their past. What sets this apart from the throng? Well for one...Drums. As in a majority of the greatest progressive groups the drummer isn't merely a supporting character, nay. Percussion is very much the motorist to this car. Also its groovy as fuck and is constantly getting stuck in my head, what a deal. When sheer passion and love for the music can be felt then you know you're listening to something that you shouldn't easily dismiss, but an album to hold onto for years to come.
2) The Slaughterhouse 5 - Alban B. Clay
Having struck my death radar in march of 2013 their full length wouldn't be released until 2014 which given that time I'd gladly waiting another year. Few times do I listen to a progressive/math group with the intention of listening to lyrics and following the story at hand but I've gotta say these boys from Denmark hit onto something so very much their own. Its been a favorite ever since. While its light on the instrumental twists the lyrical drama and atmosphere is enough to keep you coming back.
Stepfriends - All We've Got
Ok, for sheer number of times I've listened to this beast since it was handed over to me it should win some kind of special award. But seriously there is no denying the power of an album this eclectic and on point. It pulls from so many lovely sources and sprinkles them throughout the course of the album that you know that an incredible amount of effort was put into each individual song. Every song is a no skip situation to be sure and if your on the fence for a recommendation there is honestly something for everyones tastes here. Need a song stuck in your head for weeks at a time? check out track two and I double dog dare you not to sing along by the second chorus.
Equals - Tracts
Post-Rock gets such a bum wrap these days. The genre is absolutely flooded with godspeed and explosion wannabee's that its hard to suss out groups that are honest to frack trying to create something thats not only rhythmically satisfying but that works within the context of the *cough* genre *cough* These Texas cats come with all guns blazing and you'd be easy to think that this was a first however ive been a pretty large fan since their very first EP in 2011. Listen to that as well because its incredible to see the growth and is a perfectly wonderful release in its own right. Constantly engaging with some punishingly excellent drums, equals creates such a exciting space to operate in. There's some cool down moments for sure but on the whole your treated to some post rock thats isn't afraid to step outside the box a bit not too mention the welcome addition of keys.
U Sco - Treffpunkt
Where to start with this one? Its no surprise to me really how good this album turned out. I mean I've been singing the praises of Ryan Miller's guitar work well before he ever joined up with the Sic rhythm section of Duck Little Brother Duck. Both in their own rights completely under rated in the community. But here we have a sterling example of what can be done with some honest to gosh creativity and technical prowess. This album is punishing, and as such should be listened to at abnormally high volumes. We can throw out terms like "brutal prog" and "math noise"but really what this is to me is a true further-meant of classic groups like Jesus Lizard had they embraced a truly progressive nature and dropped the vox. Whatever your feelings on origin story no group this year came close to matching intensity and emotion like U Sco did here.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Side note: I was a little sad that the sensational hand clap build of track 5 "Quiet Place" didn't erupt into deadly guitar fireworks but the song is so damn good anyway its easily forgiven.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
It may be premature BUT this is the album to dethrone now in 2014. Previous releases have been hinting at some sort of post-hardcore prog noise manifesto and by god its in spades here with Treffpunkt. As I've said before Ryan Miller is one of the top guitarist's of the (cough cough) "scene" without the fanfare he richly deserves. This is the strongest case for it with lead lines that straddle the earth of searing prog and melodically flecked atonal pedal work. If this was the only business being shelled out on this release we could call it a day, thankfully this is just the start. John Scheid (bass) and Phil Cleary (drums) not only hold down the rhythm section but are locked so in tune that its clear these two have been playing for a long time with one another. Some of the tightest corners being pulled on these songs. Phil has always been a drummer that is endlessly creative. To be truthful these two provided my favorite moments from their former groups.
So enough of the tongue wagging, whats this beast sound like? Well surprisingly enough thematically I get a strong throw back from darker math from the early 90's like Jesus Lizard and that ilk. It goes well beyond this as the music is incredibly restless and relentlessly brutal. Needless complexity is thrown out the window as the songs just seem to call for some exceedingly fast bits while others are heavier. Just a total package going on with its melding of progressive song structures, post hardcore riffs interspersed with inspired pedal skronk. The one thing I think about also with these cats are there just aren't any other bands who could handle what is happening on this release. In less capable hands the entire deal would collapse and we'd still be talking about a strong album even then. There's a great flow to the album and each song puts enough distance between to really making you feel that these are individual pieces to the puzzle. At the end of the day endless dissection is not what any music calls for so if anything above sounded remotely interesting chances are your going to have a strong emotion either way, trust in that.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
Plenty of Swords (facebook page)
Annyywhose, these cats are playing sort of a 90's throw back indie style but with some nice little time shifts occasionally. Vocals are here as well and they are surprisingly catchy in an odd sort of way but it all comes together for a really fresh package. Check this out.
Jorge Arana Trio had a really classy as shit album back in 2012 I really dug on and its been a few years but these guys are back. Id say this effort is a bit more rock centric than the far jazzier "Mapache" but hey I'd say its all the better for it. It's a fast and hard hitting release with insane chops but a rollicking soul thats just a lot of fun. Also just three guys? More people should be repping these cats. Highly surprised this group hasn't been on neighborhood watch years ago but theres always time to change. I know I plan on spreaking the gospel of this fantastic group high and low.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Sietch Ramshackle has been something of go to when it comes to my own personal ideas about acoustic guitar and how it should be handled. It's honest and has its heart firmly in its progressive shifts and restless nature. Few times can you listen to music and really hear that there is a human being literally pouring their soul into a piece of art instead of stringing notes together to try and rip a solo faster. Highly suggest anyone with a passing interest in music give this a listen. Random bandcamp searching sometimes unearth's true gems...
Toasted Plastic's new album? Well let me start this by saying im the wrong person to ask. June high's was one of my top releases of last year...I listen to it probably once a week, no joke its incredible. This feels safe to me and certainly a calmer Toasted than we are used to. Where are my break neck speeds? Vocals are more thought out here and hold my variation for sure but the songs unfortunately dont hold the
same urgency as before. Dont get me wrong a solid release but im biased based on my love.
James T. Psychopath is the wild card, the elephant in the room...too big and too fucking weird to ignore. It's awful sometimes that we have to pull into our speach "Influences" and "genre tags" because shit James T. Psychopath isn't a cold fusion pioneer but by god they would probably tell you they don't give a flying fruit. Is it noisey? yes...but equal parts rhythmic. Experimental! sure but also balancing a true love of Jazz structure and time shifts. So in a lot of ways we could throw in Prog or other things but this is just really brutal music with a lot of ideas being done so well it doesn't really matter what it is.
o also a lot of people have been asking/requesting for Six Gallery's first EP (instrumental) it's a titch hard to find for obvious reasons but share amongst yourselves Id rather people be introduced to these other great bands than a dead one so check the above stated groups first.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Their new album Seasons In The Hum is finally out. Grab yourself a copy over at http://www.navaloramarecords.com/before it sells out.
A 9 song, 1/2 hr, mini-album with various songs and musical experiments written and recorded between 2007-2014.
Monday, June 16, 2014
These guys are too good. im convinced they are all musical wizards from a far, far away land. Their 2011 EP was posted here a good while back but i thought they deserved an update since they've been very, very active the last year or so.
CHON released a 2013 album called Newborn Sun, shortly followed by a 2014 EP called Wohoo! Both available on their bandcamp (link below).
Last week, Audiotree released a 6 track live session with CHON. Check it out below....mesmerizing!
Full session: CHON - Audiotree Session
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Sweet fancy I cant stop listening
Don't wait a second longer dive in
Sunday, April 27, 2014
This isn’t even my favorite Radiohead. Shit, I doubt it breaks the top three or four best Radiohead releases. KOL was the first Radiohead album that I heard right when it came out. OK Computer, The Bends, Kid A – all those great records had seeped into my subconscious so
listening to them is more nostalgic, whereas KOL is a deliberate first-time listen.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
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?
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
Friday, April 4, 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