Saturday, June 11, 2011

Clever Girl - No Drum and Bass in the Jazz Room

The instantly impressive Clever Girl have left a surprisingly large mark considering their on and only release is four tracks deep. Bad news time they are currently defunct. This changes zilch as these four songs are tight as all get out. Jangled mathy guitars and intricate drums with progressive structure. On tap as well is the Saxophone. On paper sounds a bit like our buds "A Troop of Echoes" truthfully however The Troop take their saxophone parts way more seriously and are not so jangly anyway. Carrying onward Clever Girl covers a lot of ground in four songs and youll be begging for more when its over so eat up folks dinner is served.

Complete Discography
(reanimated corpse)
(love ~acerola)

Yamon Yamon - Days like Television EP/ This Wilderlessness LP

Yamon Yamon reside in almost perfect mood. It truly shifts to your needs, weather or listening habits. Far be it for anyone to deny that this slightly mathy but altogether indie rock band is not even a little amazing. 2007's EP Days like Television is a concise section of their out put but possibly stronger than their full length. The EP slam jam's an inhuman level of hooks and pristine vocals.  There is no slouching on the full length either though. Track one Alonso will more likely than not be stuck in your head for weeks.  Not a bad thing considering what normally gets stuck in my songs / classic rock.

Days like Television EP

This Wilderlessness

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sweetthieves - Blood and Curses (2008)

This album never had a chance.

Sweetthieves emerged from Providence, RI in 2003 to unleash riff after sweet riff upon the world. As a power trio consisting of baritone guitar, tuned-up bass, and punchy drums, their songs consisted of angular, aggressive, dissonant riffs with well-executed boy-girl vocal harmonies. Their songs are tightly composed, without a lot of excess riffing or improvisation. Guitarist Dave Martinka has his own line of amps and pedals, and his expertise in guitar equipment translates to killer guitar sounds live and in the studio. Catchy, dissonant math rock. Delicious.

Blood and Curses is a lean, mean album that should have scored big for the Sweetthieves. The songs are tight, the sounds are good, and production is clean and powerful. The guitars snarl, the drums pummel, and the vocals float nicely on top. So what happened?

The guitarist and the bass player broke up. Blood and Curses is a breakup album in a very real sense. With lyrics about vengeance and song titles like "I'm Right Here With You as You Burn Our House to the Ground," its not hard to tell what this record is about. I can't even imagine how uncomfortable the recording sessions must have been.

The album release in 2008 was the band's final show. Without any further promotion or distribution, its easy to imagine a box with hundreds of Sweetthieves records collecting dust in some Providence basement.

The band members have since moved onto other interesting projects - bass player Hilary Jones is now playing with the guys from Tiny Hawks. For now, Blood and Curses continues to collect dust.

Sweetthieves - Blood & Curses

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Japandi (of San Diego) reminds me very much of their over sea's Japanese math brethren.

(WARNING mass generalization)
I mean that they are hyper tight but might not pull on the creativity strings to hard.

As far as a counterpart here I'd say they remind me of Sleeping People. Their first release plays it very safe. They use really nice melodies and keep the angular chords to a complete minimal, no tap tap here folks.  While it may not sound too exciting, stick with them and you will come to love them.  They just dropped their second release and I've got to say my opinion has changed more than I thought possible.

Decorative Duck makes damn sure you wait for the moments that they are going to come together and give you what you want. It takes more joy in the rhythmic side of things and plays all the better for it. More aggressive and angular but in a completely tasty way. I may be critical of them but its only because I really do love them. I know you will too.

The Great Dinosaur Mystery

Decorative Duck

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Colossal - Welcome the Problems (2004)

This is one of those albums that helped push a lot of what we have today in the "emo" math rock area. I mean no disrespect either when I use that tag. Sadly it was over used in the past to the point of having either no meaning at all or being derogatory.   These five from Illinois play a music indebted to post-rock, pop-punk, pop and math rock. Their influences take different roles on different songs making them a highly versatile group. Without their song structures however they would be not even half as good. Instrumentation runs fairly technical without ever getting too showy.  The appearance of brass on a few songs makes perfect sense as well. Vocals are actually used when necessary and by no means a central figure. I love this album because there is always something new I find that I like. Not that its dense but that it offers a lot. If your not familiar and enjoy breathing and people playing music I'd say your best bet would be have a gander.

Welcome the Problems (2004)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

By Surprise - Mountain Smashers

Im Tempted to say of the new school of 90's emo revival By Surprise might just take "most impressive" award. Unlike their contemporaries we have crystal clear instrumentation and lyrics that aren't just tacked on but feel vital and most importantly tell a story. A lot of heart runs through this release that seems more than pleased to bounce around alternative rock genres like a Sunday stroll. It can be silly at times but I would rather use the word charming. I couldn't begin to think of someone that wouldn't at least find one thing they enjoy about this.

Mountain Smashers

Monday, June 6, 2011

metaghostin' Vol. VI - Doxylamine Daze

Doxylamine Daze - ~30'00"

For the past two weeks I've had this goddamn cold that just won't go away, feeling like a plague-ridden toddler, spreading disease everywhere I go.

Thankfully, we got legal drugs that get you high as shit to help you sleep when your brain is corrupted with mucus and your lungs are just freaking out all the time.

This mix is dedicated to Nyquil Liquigel capsules, giving me dem 9 hours I crave.

1. Bad Dudes - "Eat Drugs" / Eat Drugs

I wanna do drugs, I wanna do drugs, but I'm afraid of drugs. (Na nana naa naa)

2. Ebu Gogo - "Never Ending Hole" / Chase Scenes 1-13

We done an Ebu Gogo post yet? Y'all know I love deez dudes. Sometimes their awesomeness makes it hard to appreciate similar but less awesome bands. Like that time Acey tried to get me to listen to Adebisi Shank and I was all "FUCK DEEZ DUDES EBU GOGO BE SHITTIN IN DEY MOUF!"

True story.

3. Enslaved - "Giants" / Axioma Ethica Odini

I haven't been a legit metal-loving dude for very long, and metal in its various forms only takes up a marginal part of my library, but these guys were one of the first metal bands that I could really dig. They aren't especially mind-blowing from any perspective, but the production is super slick and they just got dat craft.

4. Jardín de la Croix - "Synaesthesia" / Pomeroy

Acey just dropped a slick post about their most recent jam, Ocean Cosmonauts, that brought these guys to my attention. I thought this was an interesting track because whether they would admit it or not, the King Crimson influence on math/progressive can be witnessed in full force here. Mega-heavy Discipline vibes.

5. Make Believe - "Television Cemetary" / Shock of Being

Kinda surprised we haven't had a Make Believe post yet, but I suppose they're one of the lesser Kinsella bands with a couple very uneven releases. But Sam Zurich was really showing his ass on these riffs and the rest of the band ain't no chumps.

6. Mastodon - "Aqua Dementia" / Leviathan

Acey and I once had a short talk about whether Mastodon is metal or just modern hard rock. Obviously classification doesn't really matter, even though we do it all the time, but sometimes I wonder if a big part of why someone might think Mastodon is "hard rock" is because of how so much of their sound is built from this crazy southern-fried blues framework that just gets hella sped up and crunchy.

7. sunn O))) + Boris - "Akuma no Kuma" / Altar

Sippin' on some sizzurp.

Well Weapon Records Compilation #2

     Well Weapon Records are a Northern England based independent label. Having just released their 2nd compilation, they were nice enough to extend a chance for me to get a crack at a review.  So first things first what are we in store for here? Well a heaping helping of math mayhem is in store for your ears from some of the most promising new groups on the scene:

Track one from Bearcubbin'! starts things off a flurry of taps and builds from there. I was actually impressed structurally with where they ended up taking this 6 plus minute mini epic and each turn was sensible and well thought out. Looking forward to hearing more from these guys in the future. 

The second track by Girlfriends (aka Jerry Joiner) perhaps even one up's Bearcubbin'! by offering some of the slickest dancey math rock I've heard in some time. Think Foals with a set of cajones but with post-hardcore scream singing. Very much into this joint, expect a full write up on his album at a later date.

"No Monster Clubs" offering while a solid song is unfortunately the odd man out in this comp. Not even for the fact that it doesn't follow math rock tropes like the rest of this release. Actually the last two songs here by "Russia Today" and "The Widest Smiling Faces" are great low key acoustic based offerings that really help close out the album. No Monster Clubs inclusion seems like an addition rather than something to further the comp.
"Laps Around the Sun" bring it back with an inspiring electro based song with rock conventions and instrumentation slowly added in. Very unique take that eventually saddles into an almost entirely post-rock affair.
Previously blogged about "Duck. Little Brother, Duck!" amp up the post hardcore math rock with one of their better songs "Billy Mays" It's a lot of fun and reminds me exactly how good a band firing on all cylinders can sound. They are a cohesive unit that doesn't monkey around any extras and they are all the better for it.

Bringing the jazz that I so richly love is "Suffer Like G Did." Kinda low key but starts setting the tone for the second half of the album. Great name by the way also.

Einhorn, which features Dominic Kesterton of zefs chasing cara, carries some ideas from his other group to Einhorn. Sparse intricate drumming and structurally interesting for math rock. This and the next track from "Lost From Atlas" might be my two favorites of the release. Atlas bring some powerhouse math to the party that breaks the mold for the second half really well.

All I can say is if this sounds even mildly interesting you owe it to yourself to make the small 5$ purchase. PLUS you get a zine with it. I know I am grabbing myself a copy.

Well Weapon Records