Lighter math rock fare, Mister Metaphor wins me over by subtle
nuance and change that appears effortless, but is well designed to
a critical degree. It is this attention to detail that sets this band
apart from any other band I could name; at times they remind me of
Weezer and at others they vary into a quasi Pink Floyd territory.
But they don't sound like either... weird, I know. It's the jazz infusion
of the math rock that makes them all over the scale.
"Can't See the Picture" starts with low-key bass and guitar
parts but quickly escalates to a vibrant cacophony, only to ebb back
to subdued main line vocals and then finally to a break-out chorus.
Complex and interesting, they mastered shifting feels without losing
momentum or distracting from the whole to create a bright intelligent
piece of work. The songwriting emphasizes the group interactions beautifully,
giving ample space for individual growth and movement, yet maintaining
a firm hold on the leash that is the material, so it just doesn't
spiral totally out of control.
Every instrument shines in the production, as the drums consistently
reign in the other parts and transition the various rhythms with tact
and accuracy. The guitars support those quick changes within each
song, never appearing to repeat themselves and continually creating
distinct parts to blend into the whole. The bass holds its own in
this barrage of music, tying itself to the drums when necessary and
accenting the bare parts at other times. Vocals fit the material nicely,
providing well placed trills and memorable lines, but it is the addition
of backing vocals at specific places that put it above and beyond,
as in "The Gloaming".
To be nit-picky I would have spent a little more time with the guitar
sound effects, choosing a warmer version of chorus enhancement and
using distortion more to really over-emphasize those changes. Despite
that though, this is a well-conceived album that is worth it on so
many levels. While math rock has not yet found its way into the mainstream,
it will be bands like Mister Metaphor who finally make it accessible
to the common public.
1) 90 Words
2) Can't See the Picture
3) Sound of Step
4) Change Up
5) The Gloaming
6) Breathe Out
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