On This Town Needs Guns’–now officially shortened to “TTNG”–sophomore full-length, the band is premiering a new singer and a slightly smoother math rock sound.
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A bit of well-played and modern jazz fusion coming from Father Figure’s hilariously titled new album, Congratulations On Your Loss. If you’re into song musicianship and winding song structures, this is where you wanna be. There’s a clear indie rock and math rock influence going on here as well.
Progressive, melodically rich, and a fun listen.
I Kill Giants is a young band from Boston, Massachusetts that doesn’t like to waste anybody’s time. At least, that’s the impression I got from listening to their new album (“full length”? EP? single?) We Can Live In The Exact Same Place, released in May of this year. Although this album features eight tracks, its total runtime doesn’t even scrape the 6 minute mark. If you’re looking for well developed songs with good lyrics and refined instrumentation, I Kill Giants probably won’t do much for you; however, if blisteringly fast, youthful math rock with an emo-informed punk twist is your thing, this album is worth checking out. The highlight for me is the opening track “Life Instead Of Sleep,” which doesn’t even really start until halfway through its 44 second duration, but then suddenly explodes into an intensely emotive burst of gang shouted vocals and mathy guitars that lasts only 20 seconds. You won’t even know what hit you.
Give We Can Live In The Exact Place a listen or two. If you don’t like it, it’s no big deal–at worst, you wasted 6 minutes. Stream the album above and download it for whatever you want to pay over at bandcamp.
Stream: Fang Island- Major
This new album from the Rhode Island-based group Fang Island could not have come at a better time of year. These psychedelic math rockers have a penchant for face melting guitars and anthemic, singalong choruses that evoke the summer months, and their new full length album Major brings both of these qualities in heavy doses. Although it keeps the fist-pumping energy and melodic euphoria of their past releases intact, Major finds the group branching out musically and exploring new territory as songwriters. Most notably, this record features a much clearer focus on lyrics and traditional singing. Guitarist Jason Bartell handles most of the lead vocals, singing lines that mostly deal with rejecting the pressures of adulthood for simpler feelings and the innocence of childhood. ”Everything I know I learned in kindergarten,” he sings in the chorus of the opening track.
The musical palette is colored mostly by Bartell’s guitar, which adds plenty of glorious harmonizing riffs and solos to the mix. Meanwhile, the supplementary instrumental flourishes, such as the plinking piano in “Kindergarten” and the chiptune synths on “Seek It Out” add some variety and help emphasize the themes expressed in the lyrics. Fang Island’s music has always had a starry-eyed, childlike quality to it, but the group expresses it more overtly than ever on Major.
The album drops July 24th on Sargent House Records, but you can stream it in full today as part of NPR Music’s First Listen series.
An intense show of instrumental power on the new GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! album, Pink Magick. From what I understand, it’s the Northampton band’s third full-length album. If you’re into intricate drums with driving beats and colorful layers of math rock guitar leads, then stream the entire release above. It’s downloadable on Bandcamp for five bones as well.
Stylistically, I think Tripper is an exciting return to Hella’s old, stripped down form. Some fans may see it as a bit of a regression, but that’s only half of the truth. The duo throws in some overdubbed guitars and bass, and manages to utilize some of the tricks they’ve learned working in various side-projects since the release of 2007′s There’s No 666 In Outer Space. There are moments on here where I actually feel could have made it onto a Zach Hill solo album.
The downside is, though I do think Hella is sounding pretty fierce on this album, the songs are filtered through a pretty weak recording. The guitars and drums sound tinny, flat, and claustrophobic. It’s hardly the range of lows and highs I’d want in order to appreciate the intricate, detailed performances laced into this album.
Despite that unforgettable pothole, I like a good chunk of the tracks on here. I can’t say I hated any, but I was left feeling like this was just another Hella record in some spots. However, I wouldn’t want to hear anybody make a Hella record but Hella.