Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stepfriends - All We've Got (2014)

Been waiting on this for awhile as Mr. Greg McClure (Del Paxton) runs this skins on this venture as well. Seems like theres a lot of cats involved from the Syracuse/ Buffalo NY area which always peaks my ears. Sound wise you've got your new school emo sounds that is so hot right now but its safer to say this is indie rock through and through with plenty of variation.  Perhaps the strongest pull I get from these guys are the overwhelming pop sensibilities from the vocals, in both performance and lyrical content show a true understanding of this dynamic. If I had to think of a band sound wise to compare I'd have to say Evan Weiss's "Into It Over It" solo project in both songs and singing and thats a hard win in my book. Song's grab you where they should and you will undoubtedly have at least a few chorus's stuck in your dome...for the very best. Its been awhile also but I cant recall the last time an album has sounded so concise yet each lends itself to the album as a whole so well. Some aux. instrumentation (daddy loves hand claps) flesh out the songs but never are relied upon. I do truly hope this is not some one off and that we can expect more because this album eats like a hearty meal this fall. No duds on this album guys so please check it out and lavish accordingly.



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.

STEPFRIENDS

Sunday, September 28, 2014

U Sco - Treffpunkt (2014)

Its true I've been incredibly absent for awhile but that does not mean I've been asleep at the wheel. Few things as of late have really pushed the boundaries in the mathy prog realm for me. I ray of hope has displayed what ive been waiting for however with the newest U Sco release. If you're unaware of this project from ex: Duck Little Brother Duck drummer and bassist with the guitarist from With Eyes Abstract then hit the link here U Sco - Nest (2012)


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.

USCO



Friday, August 1, 2014

Big Bad Buffalo - American (2014)

These guys have been on my radar and have posted to our little fantastical facebook page where we have lively discussions about progressive...stuff.

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.

BIGBADBUFFALO

Oceanic - Origins (2014)


Like the long lost child of Jardin de la Croix. This Nova Scotia group dial down the metal elements of said group and focus on a much more experimental prog focused affair. At times incredibly busy and complex and other times fairly laid back but no less interesting. There's just not enough quality math prog out their and fewer even yet that can incorporate the metal element so seemlessly. Also would like to add for the record....mentioning Jardin in the first sentence of my little entry is a high honor as I feel they really exemplify the math metal genre to its fullest so highest praise sugar lips. This may not be as fun as blowing on a flaming lollipop but I can guarantee it tastes a whole lot better.

ORIGIN

Jorge Arana Trio - Oso


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.

OSO

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"It was a pleasure to burn"

Hi everyone....sorry ive been gone so long from this here beast ive birthed. I do however feel as though if I am to continue this I need more honesty with my musical observations. I will give a small run down of things ive been into, not into, and saddened....





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...

91%
___________________

Guy Montag will not dazzle your face with guitar heroics. If your looking for a barn blazer you can camp with the tappers. This is handily crafted post rock with extra attention placed on the melody and song progression. An Irish 3 piece that is deserving of attention for sure. With a name sake such  that you can expect the fire doesnt go out easily. Each song brings to the table its own story and from my ears a soft spot for video game music.


80.5%
______________________

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.

78.6%
______________________

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.

92,5%


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

The Samuel Jackson Five - Season in the Hum (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.

DOWNLOAD HERE 

Monday, June 16, 2014

CHON - Woohoo! (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




CHON BANDCAMP

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

enemies - Embark Embrace Remixes (2014)



Released exactly one year after the release of Embark Embrace in 2013, this Remix EP, by Heavyweight Records, was crafted by itsallwaves and the enemies guitarist SIATS

Enjoy!

Download for free or stream HERE

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Holy Torpedo - Super Sabre (2014)

holy smackers this austin group has dropped a doozy down upon my face.  Mix some chip tune keyboards with a gnarly dose of alternative indie rock and very light mathy flirtations and you've got a powerful concoction. Are we done? nope. Vocals round out this beast and they are every bit the catchy 90's tinged biz that would have to accompany these jams. Incredibly self assured first release.

Sweet fancy I cant stop listening

Don't wait a second longer dive in

super-sabre

Sunday, April 27, 2014

PoS Top Ten: Will Conrad Byler (Piles and Piles)


Greetings fellow's and fellettes. This post kicks off what will be a normal feature of the site where I ask individuals and/or groups to slap down a Top Ten music list for all times. I've always found the task particularly interesting and have more on deck so stay tuned. 

Will Conrad Byler is the current bassist of the "mathgaze" group Piles and Piles from the Boston area. Having been featured on the site before I asked Will....what makes your top ten?


Will~

10) Deathconsciousness – Have A Nice Life
this is the first album I’ve ever listened to that is truly exhausting to get through. 
Shoegaze/black metal/ post punk encompassing dreary, 
suicidal lyrics does not get as old as you might think. Dan Barrett can do no wrong.

9) World’s Bliss: Medieval Songs of Love and Death – John Fleagle
Fleagle was given two years to live when he was in his mid-20s, and with that came this album. Rather than using music as a buffer between his own mortality, World’s Bliss is a lens into facing death head-on. Fleagle played all of the instruments on the album (harp, lute, sinfonia, fiddle, and bodhran), providing a mournful backdrop for poetic lyrics, sung entirely in old English (olde englishe?) that gives the listener an awareness of their own mortality. Personifying death as an old friend has been done so many times before, but never has it carried so much weight.


8) King of Limbs – Radiohead
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.  

7) 12 – The Notwist
I picked up this album because the album art looked so cool. Neon Golden may be their claim to fame, but it doesn’t compare to their first full release A noisy album with the most understated 
vocals I’ve ever heard. Somber somber somber.

6) The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts – Refused
I know I don’t get any punk street cred for this because it’s the Rubber Soul of hardcore punk, but               it’s still the best album from start to finish in its genre. TSOPTC holds my personal favorite                           production of any album.

5) Wish – The Cure
This is a perfect album, from start to finish. Only Robert Smith can open an album singing about how anxious and bored he is at a party. Wish also has some of the most bitchin bass lines of the 1990s – with all the layers that The Cure heaps onto each song, the only way to find the beat is through the bass and drums.

4) Dude Ranch – Blink 182
It’s hard to admit it, but when I’m asked why I started playing music, I have to say it’s because of this album. Dude Ranch is saturated with believable angst, something that I haven’t heard from the pop-punk scene since. Tom actually sounds good on this album for the last time – listening to him sing now embarrasses me. For him.

3) This Year’s Model – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
I’ve been listening to this album since it was released in 1978, and I was born in 1993.  My bass instructor at school once learned all the bass lines off of TYM, a feat I plan to do when Subway isn’t eating all my time. Elvis Costello gets you to sing “I keep thinking about your mother, no I don’t want to lick them” with no trace of shame.  A cooler album than This Year’s Model does not exist.

2) Nothing Sadder Than Lonely Queen – From Bubblegum to Sky
            These last two are no-brainers for me. All three From Bubblegum to Sky albums are unbelievable – there isn’t a single song I don’t like on any of them. Nothing Sadder is their saddest and most beautiful work. While the idea behind Me Amy and the Two French Boys of over-the-top cheery instrumentals with lyrics about how much they (he – it’s just one guy) hates the universe makes for a really cool juxtaposition, Nothing Sadder writes the instrumentals to fit the lyrics. It’s a perfect portrait of the day-to-day life in Brooklyn, while you’re in your late twenties and the shallow relationships that come with it. Straight up pop music has never had so much depth - Mario Hernandez is a pop genius, and good god I wish he’d come back  

1)    The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Yo Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Myer, Chris Thile
The Goat Rodeo Sessions is easily the greatest album and music I’ve ever heard. Yo Yo Ma and company break and manipulate and combine classical, bluegrass, jazz, and Appalachian music into one final product (thus a “goat rodeo” or for the layman, clusterfuck). For those of you who get sick of Chris Thile (Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers are just super cheesy I’m sorry) and think he’s a pretty boy, he takes a back seat while working with the three greatest musicians alive today, while still managing to absolutely make the mandolin his bitch. Yo Yo Ma has bridged another musical and cultural gap with his usual grace. As celebrated as he is, we really don’t fully appreciate and understand all that he has done for music. The hard-nosed/unapologetic face of the institution of classical music will forever be replaced with a handsome, slightly nerdy looking, gleefully grinning cellist.


Just missed the cuts: 
The Pink Album – Sunny Day Real Estate, 
Crimes – Blood Brothers, 
Crack the Skye – Mastodon, 
Trouble Will Find Me – The National, 
The Dreaming – Kate Bush, 
Teethed Glory and Injury – Altar of Plagues, 
See You in Another City – Blakfish, 
World of Echo – Arthur Russell 

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)