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
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.
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
11. The Christian From Vanderville
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