Piniol – Bran coucou

The Music

The Words

Rarely have I been so eager to listen to a new album as this. That’s hardly surprising, however, as Piniol is the heavenly merger of French avant-prog bands Ni and Poil, both of which I’ve been very fond of for years! How this symbiosis came to be is unknown to me, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the result of this otherworldly union.

Bran coucou is the full-length endeavour made by this trio-plus-quartet, and it slaps like nothing else. As it is basically a double band playing as one, a sort of musical conjoined … Read more

Vacuus – Hyperkulturemia

The Music

The Words

The duo of Will Allegretto and Cody Silander known as Vacuus recently released Hyperkulturemia, their debut album, following a 2015 EP titled Abreaction. Groups with fewer people tend to be the ones displaying the more creative ideas, and this is the case here. Often times, however, their music is brought down by one or more of many things: use of poorly-programmed virtual instruments, lacking depth in their sound, lack of interesting ideas, or more. This is not the case with Vacuus, fortunately. The bicephalous beast embraces its studio nature and its two limbs harness … Read more

Uglyglow – Sad People Happy Fiestas

The Music

The Words

Uglyglow is a beautifully strange amalgamation of math rock and electronic music. Their former penchant is closer to experimental math rock, such as Yowie and Doom Salad, for example, while their latter derives more from noise than dance music. What seems to be the work of one person alone is quite impressive! As you can hear in “All the Numbers between 0 and -1”, all the parts have their place and are executed with great dexterity. From the drums, which often drives the songs forward, to the manic guitars and the lively and varied electronics support, … Read more

Kali – Riot

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The Words

You really can’t go wrong when you combine musicians from bands such as Marena Whitcher’s Shady Midnight Orchestra, Sha’s Feckel, and Sekhmet! The result of this heavenmade match is Kali, and their debut album, Riot. Diving straight into that hot new trend of playing polyrhythmic post-rock-influenced modern jazz, they lose no time and open up the ball with “Trope”, a ten-minute slow burner that immediately shows their colours. I’d put Riot somewhere between the more math rock Schnellertollermeier and the jazzier Ikarus, although all three play in a similar field.

The album is generally … Read more

Invalids – Fulfillment

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The Words

After delegating the bass duties to Nick Shaw of Black Crown Initiate and using programmed drums for years, I’m glad to see guitar virtuoso Pete Davis move his project Invalids to a full band formula. As the first release under this new lineup, Fulfillment has a lot of expectations to… fulfill.

I won’t be pressing F for the programmed drums, as you’ll have guessed, and the stellar performance of Joe Scala means that you won’t even look back to the days of yore. On bass, Nick too left big shoes to fill, but I’m glad … Read more

The Math-Rock House Band – The Math-Rock House Band

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The only way I can make sense of this obscure new band’s name is as an act of protest against The Physics House Band’s overwhelming adoration amongst math rock fan groups. While I think they are pretty good, they aren’t really a math rock band. Enter The Math-Rock House Band and their self-titled debut. To add insult to injury, the Chicago band adopts a similar approach to the Brighton jazz rock trio, but put due emphasis on odd time signatures. Unfortunately, not all and everything is played in uneven timings, and they strike a tasteful equilibrium … Read more

The Central – Sick and Dying

The Music

The Words

Wisconsin’s The Central totally killed it, back in 2016, with their album Discovery of a Rat. Without any foretelling, they released Sick and Dying on Valentine’s Day. This EP is a nice follow-up to Discovery of a Rat. Its mathy post-hardcore is still here and still sounds fresh, perhaps because of a few new changes and additions. First of all, their sound seems to have put on some weight, making it closer to mathcore than it was on their previous effort. Secondly, I feel that there are more atmospheric moments; we could call them … Read more