Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brontide - Sans Souci (2011)

Brontide (definition)- A sound like distant thunder

This hotly anticipated outing by relative newcomers Brontide seems to be living up to expectations. An English trio dishing out an instrumental math rock sound that can be likened to a more energetic Russian Circles with a bit of Battles thrown in (think early Ep's). Theirs is a varied post rock approach set up in such a way that no songs become stale. The Obvious metal influences surface when the distortion is kicked on and it gets the job done pretty competently.  What I believe to be the star lion tamer going on here though is when they actually buckle down with some looped guitars and up the melody factor. It allows the group more rhythmic freedom which they have a strong grasp of when they are in that mode.  the Production is crystal clear which I am always thankful for. A small gripe is that it appears they never quite try to break the mold but it's seriously such a consistent and enjoyable album I can bet you twenty bones you'll never even notice.

San Souci (2011)

Jaga Jazzist - One Armed Bandit (2010)

A Norwegian jazz ensemble that has a clear passion for electro-jazz kings Tortoise. They even have a small obsession with the vibraphone like Tortoise does! This of course can be excused instantly as the vibraphone is awesome. But thats really only a launching point for this adventurous young band who have been honing their craft over several releases. Their latest (and best in my opinion) has some very real proggy proggings . They of course have always flirted with such progressive trappings on previous releases but here the flag is waving high and proud. I enjoy the upbeat nature of the songs with different instruments being used almost at random.  For those of you that are not super into Jazz well I'd even say that this is for you also as it could be considered post rock as well.

One Armed Bandit (2010)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Girlfriends - S/T (2009)

Gotta say that the one man math rock band thing is something I'm really loving these days. Portland Oregon's "Girlfriends"(AKA Jerry Joiner) is an attack force of guitar and drums with post hardcore style scream singing that is very easy on the ears.  There is certainly some sort "dance" element going on as well. Dare I say even a Foals sort of vibe. The drumming runs tasteful to fairly inventive which is always a step in the right direction. The first two songs are incredibly strong with the second (brobocop) being one of the finer tracks I've heard lately. This (as always) is some really great stuff and there shouldn't be anything else that needs to be said.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sick Electric - Haywire (2008)

Lazer. Laundry. Buffalo. Accident.

In 2008, the four aforementioned members of Sick Electric released their magnum opus, Haywire. Clocking in at 16 tracks, the album is a math/surf/prog/metal epic about surfing, robots, headless lovers, some more surfing, zombies, the future, nuclear war, outer space, and the apocalypse. While thematically this album sounds like fodder for a MST3K episode, the band manages to pull everything together by employing tight, concise song structures while remaining outrageously mathy, aggressive, and intricate. Most reviewers have attacked the schizophrenic genre-bending action as a source of confusion, but for me the multitude of sounds has kept the album interesting listen after listen.

Post-Haywire, Sick Electric put out a straight-alt-rock LP in 2010 which tanked hard. Then they broke up. But Haywire remains an essential piece of experimental rock.

Sick Electric - Haywire

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Fire Show - Saint The Fire Show

      Sometimes a bands last effort can be a trans-formative affair.  Other times it finds them run down and beaten into the ground.  All I have to say is thank god for this swan song by The Fire Show.  Sadly, for as much press in online publications that this band has received they were forgotten by time even before they went there separate ways.  I hope to let more know of this great album.
     A post-punk band in the loosest of definitions, Seth Kim-Cohen and Michael Lenzi make a beautifully controlled racket on Saint the Fire Show.  With Brian Deck (Califone) behind the boards you know your going to get some excellent percussion sounds.  Programed drums along with live kit playing, introspective lyrics, sampling, buzz saw guitar and a low end that provides a thundering bed for the rest to flow on is the area which these boys inhabit.  This is certainly not your daddies post-punk.  If your wondering as a point of reference musically it  has shades of Wire, Public Image LTD and This Heat sprinkled throughout.
     This release is always on rotation for me and for a lot of people i show this to it remains the same.  I really can not say enough good things about this release.  It is truly a portrait of a band at its creative peak and would beg to question “where would the band go from here” I am somewhat thankful I dont know the answer because cliche or not it really doesn’t get much better this high on the mountain.

 Saint The Fire Show