Marateck – Time Is Over

We recently discussed a band that takes math rock to the extremes in terms of technical skills, to the detriment of the ‘math’ aspect, but here’s a band that does the opposite. Marateck don’t play thirty-second notes and they don’t quickly arpeggiate extended chords, but they ingeniously integrate polyrhythmics and polymetrics into often odd-time signature compositions. This is more evidently displayed on their debut album, Time Is Over, which was released on July eleventh. Of course, playing such counter-intuitive timings and measure subdivisions is a technical feat in itself, but it unfortunately garners much less attention than playing … Read more

Bisonwar – Bisonwar

California’s math rock band Bisonwar is what I want to see more of from this genre, and what it was originally set to do: a focus on instrumental prowesses, all the while borrowing slightly from jazz for its harmony but keeping it all generally easygoing. Well, the band’s debut self-titled full-length does just that, and more! The only thing it lacks is odd measures. While math rock has always been fascinated with guitar, Bisonwar shares the spotlight equally between the guitarist Joe and the bassist Peter. There is an abundance of parallel riffs – where the bass plays the same … Read more

Sproingg – Sproingg

Sproingg is a fitting name for such a bouncy and lighthearted avant-prog trio! The band, which takes its roots in Germany, have just released their debut, self-titled album via bandcamp, and it’s one of those that you can’t afford to miss. First of all, one of its springy legs is Johannes, violin and Chapman stick player. The former instrument is uncommon but not rare, but it’s one of unfortunately too few opportunities to catch a band boasting a stick! That, on its own, is a good reason to check out this band, but you’ll stay for their bizarre, oddly rhythmic … Read more

Candy – Candy Meatworks

Candy is a one-man project from Czechia, and they’ve just released Candy Meatworks, which appears to be their third opus. The project is one of bass guitar-centric experimental rock. The Czech lyrics are sung in an eccentric fashion, not unlike many other avant-garde bands like Mr. Bungle, to name but one, and the rhythm beneath them is heavily driven by the bass guitar. That makes their sound very funky and almost dancey. As mentioned in their bandcamp description, there’s a special place for dissonance, which emphasize the unique character of the project. The programmed drums are, for the most … Read more

Kaguu – Hawkridge

Kaguu is a new three-piece progressive rock band from Mexico. Their debut EP, Hawkridge draws heavy influences from math rock and video game soundtracks as well, which explain for the most part the dreamy vibe you find yourself in when listening to it. The five-tracker, despite being deceptively short, is a joy to hear. The riffs are soothing, melodic, contemplative and memorable. Each instrument breathes, and sounds bright and clear, which makes the compositions even more enjoyable. Overall, it’s a really good little debut from Mexico’s latest band.

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Blumen – Mångata

‘Mångata’ is one of those words that can’t be directly translated. Although one could argue that no word can be translated exactly, because the two words will carry different insinuations and complex networks with a plethora of emotions, meanings, and other words. However, Wiktionary describes this swedicism as ‘the roadlike reflection of moonlight on water’, which is better conveyed by the EP’s artwork than any description. From foreign languages to the musical one, the issue remains. It’s incredibly difficult to put music into words because each chord, each progression, each rhythm, timbre, pitch, length has an unfathomable amount of cultural … Read more

Milco – 練馬

Milco is the most Animals as Leaders-like non-Animals as Leaders project I’ve listened to, recently. The debut EP of Raymond Milco, 練馬 (Nerima), is full of bittersweet technical djent riffs, with the common thumping, tapping, and advanced chords that are often lazily called jazzy. The twenty-odd minutes of the EP are made out of intelligent composition and ingenious ideas; the songs flow more intuitively than on The Madness of Many, AAL’s latest endeavour. Of course, Ray doesn’t come near the levels of virtuosity displayed by Messrs. Abasi, Reyes, and Garstka, the skills of Milco are more than appreciable and … Read more

Glass Bell – Glib Glab

Music is a wonky art form. It’s so ethereal and intangible, unlike poetry or sculpture. It’s just variations in the density of a medium – air, most of the time –: they pass you by and you try to grab enough to make sense of them. You don’t get a second glance, you can’t hold it and analyse it thoroughly unless it’s transformed; either as notation or spectrum analysis. That’s why, I suppose, the most popular forms of music keep their message simple; more people can comprehend what they’re experiencing. Even then, it’s messy, it’s blurry, and, most of all, … Read more

Sheen Marina – Travel Lightly

Sheen Marina describe themselves as a ‘surf-noise’ band. However, I think that’s doing their music a disfavour, as it cannot be completely covered by this umbrella term. In their upcoming album, Travel Lightly, there are also strong flavours of math rock and avant-prog, which can hardly be foreseen with the ‘surf noise’ label. This thirty-minute album consists of nine tracks with varying degrees of interbreeding with the other aforementioned genres, all over a pretty clear, reverb-drenched surf rock basis. ‘WYSC’, for example, is almost a straight-up math rock song, with complex rhythms and odd time signatures, while ‘Nose Ring … Read more

Sub:Shaman – Apnea

Coming all the way from Singapore, progressive indie rock band Sub:Shaman just released their most recent album, Apnea. Consisting of nine explorative tracks, this forty-five minute magnum opus intertwines a wide variety of genres into the band’s own style and vision. Progressive rock, math rock, indie, and jazz all partake in the melting pot that is Apnea. The alternative quintet will use scat singing, pulsating electronic notes, dissonant chords, odd metres, and seventh chords to their advantage, and it creates something greater than the sum of its parts. I didn’t remember why I followed this page on bandcamp, but … Read more