Math Rock, Emo, and everything else

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tenebre - In Everything Give Thanks

It's a Thursday night and there's a paper or work due the next day, you're struggling to focus on the task at hand, so you decide to put on some music. Do you put on the latest Taylor Swift record on repeat like the 15 year-old you really are, or do you put on some nice instrumental math/post-rock?

Yeah i thought so.

Well here's the album for this and any other occasion you see fit, Tenebre's "In Everything Give Thanks". The trio from San Francisco sound like God Is An Astronaut......if you sped them up, made them less boring and added finger-tapping guitar-work, that is......


Suffocate For Fuck Sake - Blazing fires and helicopters on the front page of the newspaper. There's a war going on and I'm marching in heavy boots

 Suffocate For Fuck Sake hail from Sweden and describe themselves as Sigur Ros, Breach, Cult of Luna, Mono, and Mogwai (playing a the same time).  Other than that they are a pretty darn mysterious band.  There is absolutely no information on the members, or are there any pictures of the band.  I can't find any touring information and their Myspace is pretty bare.  What else would you expect from a band from Sweden called Suffocate For Fuck Sake?

SFFS definitely live up to their name during portions of their album, but it isn't all rage and fury.  They sprinkle a heavy sludge sound over vast expanses of beautifully dark instrumentals and samples of interviews in Swedish.  The focus of the interviews are about a young woman looking back at her time spent in a mental institute.  The quotes come from her, her friend, her mother, and her doctor at the time and they serve as a guide as the album meanders through the girl's terrifying story. 

It is a concept album so I would suggest taking the time and listening to it all at once.  I know from personal experience if you get through that first song you will be hooked.  This will be a challenging listen due to the long song durations and the experimental use of dialogue in a language you most likely won't be able to understand, but you will be rewarded with glimmering atmospheric guitar work, cripplingly sad piano, and violent vocals.

(I'll post the translations for the samples as soon as I find them)

Friday, February 26, 2010

V For Vendetta - Behind This Mask, Another Mask

Hello there, 7 followers and just as many lurkers! I'm the new guy posting on the blog, and I hope you enjoy my posts. Now:

Females? In my math rock? More likely than you think. V For Vendetta was a female-only duo hailing from Rhode Island who put out one full-length album, "Behind This Mask, Another Mask", back in 2002. (Yes, both the artist name and album title are cringe-worthy, I know.)

If you're into the weird time signature form of math rock, then this is definitely worth your time. As for the lyrical/vocal aspect of the album, it's one of the only drawbacks I could find, though they do seem to have some emo-ish qualities to them, so it's up the the listener to judge for themselves.

To whom it may concern:

- Gio

pg.99 - Document #8

“We were just a group of friends who all wanted to play music and try to make our lives more incredible”.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Japandroids - Post Nothing

Summer seems like such a long time ago in the world of music, and in the world in general if you are relegated to parts of the world where you haven't seen the sun in weeks.  Last night I was pulled from the horrible winter doldrums when I heard a new Japandroids track on the radio.  So for the next post we can look back on last summer while we anxiously pine for spring.

Japandroids exploded onto this scene this summer after a couple years of EPs with their lo-fi full length "Post Nothing".  The duo from Vancouver makes surprisingly danceable tunes out of symbol punishing drumming and powerful, albeit simple guitar work.  The vocals consist of screamed out anthems that are often shared between the two members.  This creates the allusion of much more sound than you would expect out of a two piece band.  Most of the songs have fewer than five lines which makes them perfect for yelling out with your friends after a night of drinking.  The pair will also begin to release a series of 7" records of remastered tracks and previously unreleased material this spring.  I've heard one of the unreleased tracks and it is light years away from "Post Nothing".  Whether you consider this a good thing or bad depends on how much you liked that lo-fi, garage feel.   All this combined with the indie deity Pitchfork giving it a favorable rating, makes it no wonder why this band was so popular and will continue to be popular this year.

So give this an album a listen while you slam some brews with your bros.
Post-Nothing Download

*HMHYHT also has a new writer from the far reaches of California to share his knowledge of Math Rock and all things related to hipsterdom, so keep an eye out for his posts.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Cool Show at the Eagle's Nest

I saw some Sunday Night goodness last night at the Eagle's Nest.

The night started off with Maidens, a post-metal band which draws influence from Russian Circles.  It definitely has that Suffocate for Fuck Sake feel with heavy riffs and special attention to atmosphere.  Really heavy and really good.  Keep a look out for these Milwaukee area guys as they have just begun, but are already producing some pretty impressive work.
Next up was Parrhesia, a grind band from chicago.  Going into the show I had a very rudimentary idea of what grind is, having only heard studio recorded work in the genre.  Before the show I was very unimpressed, but I quickly found this is definitely a style of music you need to see live.  After some technical difficulties (which merely added to my anticipation) this band began to attack their instruments, themselves, and the crowd.  I experienced pure discomfort as I wasn't really sure if they were going to harm the crowd, themselves or my ear drums.  It was surprisingly enjoyable and liberating.  Check these guys out live if you can.
If you have been reading the blog you would know I tried to see Grown Ups earlier this month at Strangelight.  Unfortunately a speeding ticket and questionable navigation caused me to miss Grown Ups.  I wasn't too bummed however, because I knew I had another chance to see them.  This was my chance and they were everything I hoped for.  That pop-punk/emo sound I fell in love with on their studio album Songs translated quite nicely live.  Their energy and sound last night would have definitely made the Kinsella brothers proud.  I also purchased their last copy of their EP ever (hipster victory!).  It was the last night of their tour with Antilles who played next.
Antilles from Ohio had been touring with Grown Ups since the night after the Strangelight show, but they didn't let it show.  They didn't even want to stop playing.  These guys brought some serious energy and some humor.  Punk to the core, their intricate guitar work left my ears ringing.  Very awesome.

The night wrapped up with a band that is slowly becoming one of my favorites in Milwaukee, Absolutely.  As usual their luscious locks and mathy riffs blew me away.  If you live in Wisconsin you have to check these guys out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How about some awesome spoken word?

La Dispute made three EPs with some pretty slick spoken word.  It's definitely a departure from their two full length albums.  Most of the "songs" are actually coming of age poetry (some written by them some not) spoken over minimal instrumentals.  A lot of the music of their Here, Hear EPs remind me of Slint's Spiderland, so if you are into that definitely check out these ten songs.

Speaking of some awesome spoken word have some Saul Williams

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pianos Become The Teeth - Old Pride

Coming straight from the awesomely pretentious band name department I bring you Pianos Become The Teeth.  This screamo (or skramz if you are an asshole) band from Baltimore draws influences from both post-rock and post-hardcore which leaves the listener with something in the same vane as Envy, City of Caterpillar, or Suffocate For Fuck Sake. (gotta love the names).  

Unfortunately for Pianos they don't quite live up to the behemoths of the genre I mentioned.  Not yet anyway.  Some of the post-rock buildups are amazing (see "Pensive"),  but at other times the meander and end up falling back on mediocre post-hardcore riffs leaving the listener waiting for that climax that never comes (see "Young Fire").  The lyrics live up to the stereotype of the genre and are mostly underwhelming for the entirety of the album, minus the absolute tear jerker, "Cripples Can't Shiver", an incredibly emotional song about a loved one dying of a degenerative disease.

Although these guys aren't perfect, this album is still one of my favorites of last year.  So check out the album, then buy some merch or book them for your next basement show.  They'll be in Milwaukee June 17, where they will be playing however remains to be seen.  So if you live in the area keep that in mind, as it appears these guys will literally play wherever.  They seem to be extremely humble and appreciative guys and that's pretty fucking cool.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Paper Chase - Now You Are One Of Us

 "I get a lot of e-mail that says, "Your music frightens my cat." -John Congleton

What do you get when the producer of successful pop acts such as U2's Bono, R. Kelly, and Explosions in the Sky decides to start writing his own music? Surprisingly you get some seriously spooky stuff.

Now You Are One Of Us wastes no time setting a creepy tone with a sample of a real radio interview of some wack-o who is supposedly flying over area-51.  From there you get a steady diet of uncomfortable subject matter being sung over jagged piano, ominous riffs and discordant melodies separated by equally creepy sample interludes.  The whole album feels as though you are listening in on a deliriously paranoid man's desperate thoughts and painfully authentic threats.  Deliciously creepy song titles such as "We Know Where You Sleep", "You Are One Of Them Aren't You", and "We Will Make You One Of Us" cements the feeling of intense paranoia.  Congleton's own experience with ardent panic attacks definitely seep through the songs giving the listener a taste of what it may feel like to truly experience hysteria.

The greatest discomfort of all comes when you realize that although some of the subject matter is over the top, all these feelings are human (even if they are at the very fringe of what is considered normal) and that all feelings most likely exist somewhere deep inside every one of us.  See the very ending of "At The Other End of The Leash " as a frightening example of the perpetual loneliness and boredom one can experience even while surrounded by creature comforts and people who care for you.

So give it a listen, but maybe turn on all the lights in your room first.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I forgot it was Valentines Day

 I guess that is what happens when your interests include writing a music blog.

Keep your love on lockdown ya'll!!!!

Lotus Land Records on Friday

Saw a pretty good local show at the newly opened Lotus Land.  It was another well set up DIY show.  Here's who we saw:
White Problems- Fun band making fun music.  Think DFA1979. 
Brief Candles- Technically sound indie rock with female lead vocals
sleepcomesdown- These guys blew me away.  They are everything you want in a shoegaze band and more.  I was totally taken aback at the amount of beautiful sound they could create. The streaming music on their myspace doesn't even begin to do their live sound justice.  If you are able I would definitely recommend seeing this sometimes haunting, but always powerful sounding band.  They also have some pretty nifty lights, which may be a plus for all I know.  I'm going to be ordering their full length soon, so expect another post on these guys.
John The Savage- I was lucky enough to see a Milwaukee staple,  John The Savage.  They are well known in the area for great live shows and fun music.  They certainly lived up to that Friday.  Their set was an hour long dance party.  These guys take the attitude of Modest Mouse, the crazy big sound instrumentation of Arcade Fire, and vocals reminiscent of early Flogging Molly and create something that is absolutely infectiously enjoyable.

Absolutely also played during the course of the night.  Unfortunately I can't find their Myspace.  They play some pretty killer post-hardcore.  If anyone who reads this can point me to their Myspace please do (does anyone read this?)
edit: Found their Myspace

Come back tomorrow and I will share some music!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

toe - Book About My Idle Plot On Vague Anxiety

Math Rock came to be in the late eighties as an offshoot of Post-Rock that concentrated on tapping and angular melodies as opposed to the concentration on atmosphere and texture that Post-Rock is known for.  The early bands in both genres shared many characteristics however.  See Slint as an example.

Like it's early brother in the Math Rock scene, Slint, toe borders on the edge of both genres.  They have no shortage of interesting time signatures and start stop rhythms, but they also take special care to create an interesting atmosphere.  This coupled with the technical drumming of Takashi makes this a Japanese export to check out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It snowed a lot today.

So have some music by a band called Snowing.  It's pretty much the best the current Emo scene has to offer.
My writing genius knows no bounds

Monday, February 8, 2010

What has the Internet done?

I literally just found this: Pitchfork reviews Die Antwoord
 Expect that annoying guy standing by the keg to be shouting requests for Die Antwoord songs soon.
Interview discussing how gangster fairy tattoos are 

When I think football, I think Arcade Fire

Nothing goes better with football than a coming of age song performed by a band who is fronted by a Canadian couple.  That's what the NFL network was thinking anyway..  I actually loved the commercial for a number of reasons.  The first being thousands of hipsters' (example) faux indie cred was ruined in roughly 60 seconds.  How one could complain about a band who opened for U2, had multiple songs on the billboard 200, and appeared on the cover of Canadian Time, selling out is beyond me.  Not to mention that Spike Jonze trailer that they were apparently forgiven for.  Secondly all the licensing proceeds went to Haiti relief (wasn't there a less mainstream natural disaster to donate to?).  Last, but not least the commercial is actually pretty cool.  I enjoy watching men jump insanely long distances.  If you haven't seen Reggie Bush's ridiculously long hurdle in real time check it out here.  

Oh and the album is actually pretty amazing, check it out here:

PS I think I am going to post again later in the day.  I received a good suggestion for a post over the weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The most expensive basement show ever.

 It was worth it though.  All the bands were amazing and we got some awesome merch!  It was the most well organized DIY show one could hope to go to, so props to the guys at Strangelight.  They kept everyone hydrated and happy.  Here are some pictures full set here

Grown Ups
Algernon Cadwallader

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm going to a cool concert tonight.

I'm seeing Algernon Cadwallader (pronounced al-jur-non kal-wall-uh-dur), Grown Ups, 1994, and Castevet tonight at Warbux/Strangelight in Chicago!

Here are some links:

Grown Ups - Songs (I'm most excited for these guys)

Oh and if you don't feel like making the trip to Chicago, check out 14th Century Explorers (you may know them as Cider Cloud) playing at the Cactus Club in Milwaukee.  They are coming out with an EP soon so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Obligitory Neutral Milk Hotel Post

Well now that I'm updating this blog daily, I better get this out of the way.  I'm sure this hipster(example) staple is on the first page of many a blog out there in this wacky place called the internet.

If somehow you have never heard this album I will give you a quick rundown.  Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea has done for indie music what The Olive Garden has done for Italian culture.(Oh god that accent)

Sounds terrible I know, but download it anyway so you have something to talk about with that skinny girl with thick rimmed glasses in your psychology section.

This blog will change your life This blog will get you laid

Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Antlers-Self Titled

Before we begin I would like to clear some things up.

This is not a post about Hospice.  This is not a post about the ambient folk band from Brooklyn.  This album doesn't feature a lead singer whispering and smacking his lips.  This album isn't about a girl dying of cancer.  This album doesn't feature painfully corny lines such as "SYYYYYYYYLVIA GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE OVEN"

This post is about "the other Antlers".  Antlers (focus being on the lack of the word the) are from Richmond Virginia.  They are a Math Rock band.  Their self titled does feature sparse, but effective vocals.  This album is really great.

Now that we have that cleared up let's continue.
It's pretty simple.  When I think of Antlers I think of American Football on steroids.  Many of the songs begin with the jangly tweedle dee guitar work people familiar with American Football will recognize, only to evolve into heavier, distorted, jolting riffs. These guys are young, but their sound shows their experience and potential.  So let's keep our fingers crossed for more material and a midwestern tour. Antlers is something you have to hear with your own ears, so download and if you like it buy it!

Download the tree themed album here:
Antlers - Self Titled
 Check out their myspace to buy some merch:

Another post on Die Antwoord

So after further research I have discovered that Die Antwoord is completely serious.  Furthermore they are completely fucking nuts. This self proclaimed "futuristic ninja rap crew" released their first album $o$ for free last year.  The group consists of Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er, Jack Parow, and Dj Hi-Tek (who owns a pc and creates next level beats if you recall from yesterday)
Another weird video
And if you actually enjoy this for some reason here's a download of their album:
Die Antwoord- $0$

Two posts on these guys in as many days?  That sound you are hearing is everyone who reads this page collectively un-bookmarking it, never to return.  I'll have another post later in the day I swear.  So come back!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Well DJ High-Tech owns like a pc computer, he makes like next level beats"

I'm starting to see this in a lot of places.  Apparently they are a rap group from South Africa.  The intro and the very end are really funny.  I'm just not quite sure if they consider themselves a serious group or not, but check it out and have a laugh anyway.  You'll especially enjoy this bonus post if you like atrocious home-made tattoos

Cap'n Jazz-Analphabetapolothology

Cap'n Jazz was formed in 1989 by brothers Mike and Tim Kinsella.  These guys went on to influence a staggering amount of bands and are widely considered to be the best of the second generation emotive hardcore bands.  You can thank these guys (or curse them) for transforming Emo from an undergound hardcore subgenre to a more accessible pop-punk sound.  When the band broke up in 1995 the various members formed well known emo staples; Make Believe, The Promise Ring, Owls, Joan of Arc, Owen and a little ole' band called American Football.

Pretty impressive right?  Well there is this little matter of Mike's age.  He was born in 1977.   Mike Kinsella was twelve when Cap'n Jazz was formed.  TWELVE.  I don't know about you, but my biggest accomplishments at that age involved scrambled porn and strange thoughts about my sixth grade teacher.  Needless to say I wasn't tagging along with my older brother helping create what would become the most influential band in a genre's history.

So check out their anthology, mostly because you will be hard pressed to find much else by them (besides their only full length entitled Burritos...).  Analphabetapolothology feels like a party. Loud, fast paced, and sometimes incoherent.  It's beautifully messy and imperfect, and you should absolutely check it out.
Disc 1
Disc 2 Live

Monday, February 1, 2010

Other Animals

Other Animals is an awesome math rock band out of Illinois.  This quartet, comprised of three brothers and a close friend,  released their first album last year and  they've been heavy in my rotation ever since.

Using an excavation office in the Chicago suburbs as a practice space, Other Animals spent two years writing and perfecting their album.  They played their material so much over those two years that when it came time to record the album the whole process was completed in four days.  That's tracking and mixing included people.  Most of the album is actually live and it sounds great.

So collect some hipster points(example) and check out this relatively unheard of band. The best part is they are giving a digital copy of their album away for free on their website.  So head on over there and snag the album.  While you're there check out their (unfortunately slim) tour dates.   Hopefully there will be more to come.


Download their self titled album for free here:
Official Website