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Sounds Like Braille
Right Out Of Left Field, Straight To The Middle Of Nowhere...
Contraphonic Music Ltd.

Where to begin. Okay, so I am handed this record with a note saying: "Math Rock- find out what it is and reference it in a review." So I'm like, okay. Sure. Whatever. And then I pop in the album by Sounds Like Braille, and give her a spin. First thought: What the?!? Second thought: Where are these guys from? Wisconsin, eh? Well that kind of explains things. Then I think to myself, is this what people in Wisconsin do for fun? So I listen and ponder some. I am not one for instrumental albums, but this has something to it. I have to admit I am entranced from the beginning by the rolling bass lines, the dueling nature elicited by the guitar and bass and second bass, and the omnipresent support of inspired drummers.

Now understand that I do not like to label, because you will always fall short in description, but I have to find out what "Math Rock" is. So I hop on the ever-so-friendly internet to find out. The basic gist is this: Math Rock is a jazz-inspired fusion of indie rock, with a heavy emphasis on precision. Certain bands take this to the nth level, by incorporating odd scales, and rhythm features. According to the press release from Sounds Like Braille, they like to play songs backwards live. Get the picture? Good.

Back to the band at hand- Sounds Like Braille almost defy description and summation by their all-over-the-charts slap in the face of conventional music. Heady at times, inspired in others, long-winded and too short at the same time. While there is no doubting their musical capabilities, I have to say: With great power comes great responsibility; it's possible that they twist their musical definitions and capabilities to the detriment of the listener. It sometimes skates too close to the edge of noise, but is completely worth it in the long run for the overzealous euphoria that hangs onto its shirttails.

So, I still have to add what I would do to make it better. A vocalist. Someone who could hold their own in the maelstrom of fanciful elaboration and give the band a root, a pivot point if you will, for the others to dance about in the bliss of non-conformity. But maybe that is an impossible task to find someone worthy of this band. Without a vocalist though, no matter how structured they are, it will always sound like a jam-band, until they create another superstructure on top of their already elaborate maze. That and the guitarist needs to invest in some better processing equipment; his distortion was unbecoming for a solid guitarist, who adequately matches wits with two bassists.

To all you geeks out there that have to have everything and more to stay one step ahead of your friends: go buy this album, you won't regret it. It makes me feel smarter just listening to it. Yup.


Track Listing:

1. Framing October
2.Sometimes Dreams Are Just That
3. Triumphant Was The Trumpeting Strumpet
4. When Wings Fail
5. Sunbeam Staccato
6. Caution: Song Title Subject To Change Without Warning
7. Looking For Old Records
8. Can You Believe This
9. King Of The Obvious
10. ….???….
11. The Christian From Vanderville
12. (----)

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