Friday, August 9, 2013

The Speed of Sound in Seawater - First Contact (2013)

Alright, we've seen this pretty much everywhere by now, but as fans that have collected all their discography in physical CD form we feel it’s our obligation to at least say something about this.

             If you are familiar with Damien Verrett's work you probably realize that his storytelling skills are some of the best, and that is what really shines through here in this new LP. ("Speedwater" as we like to refer to them as) proves that they can set a mood and tone with their music and imagery that can put you into almost any setting. That said, for what it exceeds in lyrical content and story it pays in technicality. This is most likely the least technical out of all their work, an especially great step down from their previous release, "Underwater Tell Each Other Secrets". But, honestly, we can say that technicality won’t be missed too much here. You'll be way too wrapped up into the stories, catchy melodies, and trade-off vocals to care. We will say that this is much more leaning towards pop and we're unsure if we can really call it math in our sense of the word, but even so there is still a lot to fall in love with here. Whether it’s a quirky story about a man who wants to build a girlfriend, a boy with a childhood friend that’s a ghost, or a story about a young man and his shipmates scouting the high seas, there is something here for everyone.

"Written by your favorite math-rock review duo, Umbra and Jacuzzi"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ditch Tiger - Old Growth (2013)

Dang Boise Idaho!

You guys are really bringing it hard this month. First with Fox Alive and now we have Ditch Tiger. This has the familiar feel of a lot of your favorite groups that play that earnest throwback emo with the great mathy guitars and angsty vocals. BUT — there always has to be a but — this comes at you like a tumbling boulder, way faster than any of those other namby pambies. (Is there such a thing as a "pamby" that isn't namby? - meta) Not too mention those drums are nothing to be joking around about either. The band fancies themselves "hardcore punk" and I suppose I could see in that spirit but beyond that not too much. Extremely cohesive stuff for sure and one that I'm sure will resonate with a lot of people. I know this album has very much captured my attention these days.

Slender Loris - World Tour (2013)

I have to say that I usually enjoy my lorises "slow", but after meeting this here Slender Loris my tune has changed. A three piece that employs speak/shout vox and some dirty punky guitars doesn't exactly smack of the math we love, but give this release a second and there is a lot to love, not too mention a couple twists. Jagged is the word I would use for these riffs for sure. In a lot of ways this reminds me of the fabulous No Means No and shoot, that's some high flying compliments. Early 90's vibes but not heavy to the point where I need a Crystal Pepsi. It took me a moment to grab hold of what these guys are doing, but thats my own fault truly and once you do I can promise that you'll be on board the ship.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Supernormal Prophets - Right up, Word on (2013)

Some mixed meter and shifting times from this solo electro post-hardcore math project — sounds interesting right? Well, that's prolly cause it is. This comes to us from Ireland and is actually a lot funkier than I would have guessed. Something a little different than the standard "r o c k" based biz I bring, so drink up.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fox Alive - These Trees Don't Sink (2013)

You describe yourselves as "ambient jazz math rock from Idaho" and you have a wonderful female singer? I suppose my question to you is "WHERE ARE ALL OF THE OTHER SONGS I NEED TO LIVE?!" But seriously this is some incredibly well thought math rock with the vocal one two punch that'll have you reaching for that dern play button again and again. I will be waiting for new stuff from these guys (and gal) thats for sure.

Hank - Pinched (2013)

Lately the cram-jamming of punk aesthetics with math rock structures seems to be a "thing" that is gaining steam. However not all cats sleep the same on the window sill and that's why it's refreshing to hear Illinois' very own Hank taking a different angle. Yes, the aggressive guitars (and vocals) are there for your fist-pumping delight, but there is a "fun" angle that I am always looking for in the mood and playing of this type of music. Let's also not forget that we stay for the twists and turns via the prog/math elements. Besides conveying fun, the second important component that I'm always looking for is an honesty in the composition. Both are vague concepts, I understand that, but they remain extremely important for me in describing why I enjoy a group. This is an incredibly strong and diverse first effort for Hank and it's telling seeing them talked about in more than a few other math-centric publications.

North End - Cognoscere (2013)

Philadelphia high energy mathy post rock — exactly how I need my post rock (i.e. not a high E string workout). This here is one track off of an upcoming full album and it is certainly busy and interesting enough for me to want more and by extension you too will be wanting more.