Saturday, January 29, 2011

Genghis Tron

Ambient Electronic Grindcore

Switching gears for a moment, Poughkeepsie, NY's "cybergrind" trio has certainly been a band to watch for awhile now. Melding elements of Metal, grindcore, electronic drums and ambient atmospherics its a unique group that knows how to mix the harsh with the strange industrial calm. Technical guitar with plenty of odd time changes thrown in. Lots of sampling but enough live instrumentation to augment this. Vocals run to the hardcore screaming variety but it fits the music well. Any fan of metal should check this out.

Dead Mountain Mouth

Board Up The House

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tera Melos

Math Rock

Or as Nick Reinhart (guitarist) describes it as "bands that like Fugazi". I honestly could never hope to say enough about this group. They remain a constant favorite of mine not because of chops, emotion or anything like that but because of their evolution as a group over time. Most Math groups are content to rest on notions that we all know and love that have been paved through by father Don Cab. Not so at all with Tera Melos.
    With four major releases under their belt it isn't hard to see why they are all so loved. Spazzy Jazz core with ambient bits thrown in with electronic portions. Yet at the end of the day this band can crush you with guitars. I saw these gents play last year and actually got to spend a long time speaking with them as they were staying at a friends. What I gleaned from all three of them was a restless nature of moving on to the next best thing. When it comes to art in music this is the key to the golden city for me.

Self-titled - First full length. A very tight outing with memorable riffs. All 4 original members were a part of this release. The most "conventional" of all their albums but certainly turned heads when it dropped.

Drugs to the Dear Youth EP- Minus guitartist Jeff Worms. This is a wholly different group. Where riffs were titanic they are now manic and abrasive. Space is given to the songs yet the harder parts are that much harder. Vince Rogers drumming has become more free jazz in nature and all the better for it. EXCELLENT

Complex Full of Phantoms - Another EP this time split with another math group "By the End of Tonight" This is a compounding of both previous releases together into a glorious cohesive mess. Also vocals make their shy appearance. This is a stand out among their releases and many feel their strongest. Everyone is firing on all cylinders.

Patagonian Rats Minus Vince Rogers. For me (and many) this was a large blow for the group. Nick had been expressing his love of pop music around this time and it seems to me this was his stab at using these elements. Some good songs but just not as strong as we are used to.

Lynx - Self Titled (2000)

 Math rock

Very short lived group featuring future Battles member Dave Konopka. Lynx is not anything new for the genre. However I will say that they have an excellent use of space. Drumming as well is better than 90% of these sorts of groups. 

Bonus Trivia: Lynx self titled album was produced by what well known member of Shellac?

Self Titled (2000)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sleeping People

 San Diego instrumental rock group with atypical song structures, dissonant guitar riffs and time signature changes (read: math rock) These guys and gals have a great way of moving through a song. Its a very organic flow that allows each instrument time to breath and for the listener to focus on each instrument. Moving into new passages entails one instrument changing for a few bars then the other instruments follow. It sounds like a cheap way to work but it keeps the songs exciting and unlike some groups really gives you a chance to appreciate the excellent riffs. Drums and bass are frequently locked and yet always stay interesting. The first release is a lot more scatter shot (yet sometimes more interesting) Growing is all about the progression and is a tighter venture for it. Both worthy of looks.

Bonus Points: The excellent "People Staying Awake" (last track on Growing) features vocals from what super awesome indie rock gent?

Hint: last name is a type of bird

Sleeping People

Growing (2007)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

65 Days of Static - The Destruction of Small Ideas (2007)

Electronic post-rock

This is instant gratification post-rock. The great twist is the excellent electronic programming going on throughout the songs. Occasionally those elements do place a heavy hand over a section but the UK group bounces right back. A sprinkling of math-rock also added to the mix is always welcome in my book. The Destruction of Small Ideas is one of my favorite releases of theirs. While not my favorite group per say. They do what they do extremely well. There are other groups that travel in the same melding of genres but 65 Days proves to be the most interesting. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sea Snakes - Clear as Day, The Darkest Tools (2004)

Indie pop/rock 


This 2004 release has been in constant rotation for me since the day it came out. Sadly this would mark the Canada based Sea Snakes only release. While on the outside everything seems pretty par for the course, it is anything but that. Instrumentally there is a lot going on keyboard, guitar, violin, drums all being used to fill the space. Structure wise its almost unbeatable for the genre with extended instrumental passages and interesting left turns in the music. Even at their most "rocking" Sea Snakes do it their own way by using dynamics instead of pedals to get the point across. Vocals are wispy with cryptic albeit poignant and memorable lyrics. Clear as day has always been an album mans album, you simply can not just pick one song.  Easily in my top 10 of all time. 

Clear as Day, The Darkest Tools

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cinemechanica - Martial Arts

Punk Indie Math Rock

There are few groups that I love more than Cinemechanica, these are the reasons:

1. They are fast
2. Technical as all get out
3. Some incredibly emotional shouting vocals
4.Strangely melodic

I can remember hearing "I'm Tired of Paul McCartney" for the first time and wondering what kind of space aliens copied exactly what I wanted a band to sound like and played it for me. These gents are are a part of the wonderful Hello Sir Athens GA record label. Cinemechanica im sure have spent a lot of time with the catalog of the equally amazing Canadian group North of America (whom I will certainly be covering in a later post) Cinemechanica is a logical progression from NoA's math lite punk rock. Just listen to this if you even have a passing interest in rock music. Everyone owes it to themselves. Please. Do it. If your still reading leave and listen :) NOW!

Martial Arts

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Alt. math emo rock

This is an extremely tight group that really displays not only a large level of technicality but also good structure and great melody. The vocals are usually shouted melodically as well. As a matter of personal opinion the japanese math groups just seem way tighter than our own. High energy is great to see as a lot of the newer groups seem far too sleepy to me. This group gets compared endlessly to Algernon Cadwallader....what a lazy comparison. They are almost nothing alike other than they both are fond of odd time changes. Malegoat comes out on top always.

 Plan Infiltration

To Face the Music

Grown Ups - More Songs

pop-punk/math rock

Why has this combo never crossed my ears before? It really just sounds so right together. Some nice gruff vocals mixed with gang style vocals. Some excellent break downs as well. Very SOLID